The new year is approaching fast, and 2018 is going to be a year of change for many people. For you, it may mean the year that you or a loved one is moving to assisted living. Though the decision to move to assisted living may be bittersweet or difficult, making the process of moving easy and fun can help a new resident settle in more quickly and begin the enriching lifestyle that assisted living communities provide. We’ve drawn up a rough timeline of how to plan the move to assisted living in the coming year. Let’s get started!
6+ Months Ahead:
Six months or more ahead of the move may seem like a long ways away, but it’s never too soon to start decluttering. Start sorting out keepsakes, allowing plenty of time and opportunities to talk about the memories associated with them. Friends and family may feel similarly attached to objects such as childhood artwork or trophies, so it’s great to get everyone involved in this first stage. Giving things full of memories to family is a great way to keep them around while decluttering. If you can, limit sorting to only about one to two hours per day, and keep things light and companionable.
In terms of logistics, gather up important or sensitive documents, and if necessary, go over them with trusted accountants, doctors, and other professionals to determine what needs to be kept.
It’s also time to begin searching for a real estate agent, if necessary. Gather a few options and go with the best fit for you.
Also, start planning creative meals with pantry and frozen food items. Who knows what you’ll come up with?
3 Months Ahead:
Contact your assisted living community and obtain a floor plan for you or your loved one’s future apartment. Start planning what goes where, and don’t be afraid of downsizing. Make lists! Are you giving furniture to friends and family, and if so, who gets what? What are essential medications and toiletries that need to get to the apartment? Start decluttering in earnest, and research moving companies if finances allow.
2 Months Ahead:
Visit the assisted living community and start getting familiar with their facilities. Making a new home is daunting, but the more comfortable you are with the space before you move, the better. Plan a garage sale and start donating any furniture, decorations, clothing, or other items. It’s also important to make plans for any pets - can they come with you, or do they need another home?
1 Month Ahead:
Buy packing materials, such as boxes, tape, and labels, and start packing non-essential items slowly. Be sure to label everything clearly to make unpacking simple. Start donating frozen and canned foods to local food pantries.
This is also a great point to notify the post office, utilities, banks, credit cards, and others about you or your loved one’s change of address. Make a list of everywhere your address needs to be changed and check it off as you go.
2 Weeks Ahead:
Get family and friends together for packing and cleaning. Leave no stone unturned! Coordinate plants and valuables, and consider leaving them in a trusted family member’s care so they don’t get neglected in the action.
1 Week Ahead:
Pack a day-of-the-move kit, including toiletries, clothes, and bedding. Check and double check rooms, and get rid of any remaining food in order to defrost the refrigerator.
Work with your movers on fragile or special pieces, but most of all, stay relaxed. You’ve done all the legwork, so focus on you and your loved ones today.
Arrange lots of visits with family, and make a goal to try out one new activity every day. Pretty soon, it’ll feel just like home!
Moving to assisted living in Michigan doesn’t have to be a hassle. By leaving yourself plenty of time and doing things little by little, your 2018 move will be just an exciting next step.