Understanding Assisted Living

Now that you have chosen your assisted living community, your journey is just beginning! It’s time to start downsizing and packing, determining what you would like to move into your new apartment and what you may sell, give away or put in storage. Perhaps you have even ordered change-of-address cards to mail out to your friends and family. You may be feeling a mix of emotions ranging from relief and excitement to nervousness or anxiety. But fear not; so much of your nervousness is due to the unknowns that come with your upcoming move-in process. Here is a bit of what you can expect as you begin the process of understanding assisted living and making your new apartment your home.

Before the Move

Before your move, you must first pay your deposit to secure your apartment. Deposit costs vary from community to community, but serves as a commitment to this exciting life change. Sometimes, you will be able to choose which apartment layout you would like; other times, you may go onto a waiting list for your preferred apartment. Either way, the deposit secures your place in the assisted living community.

After your deposit has made things official, a representative from the assisted living community will come to your home to perform an assessment. This assessment gives the staff the opportunity to get to know you a bit better and assess your needs, challenges, and preferences. It is best for the community to have some of this baseline information about you before you move in so that the staff can be best prepared to work with you beginning from your first day at the community.

Depending on the state regulations, the community may ask for you to visit your physician prior to move in. During your visit with your doctor, you will have some state-mandated paperwork that your physician will need to complete and forward to the assisted living community. Don’t worry; the assisted living community will provide you with that paperwork if it is necessary in your state.

Finally, you will work with a representative from the senior living community to complete some standard move-in paperwork. This paperwork typically consists of a standard rental agreement, along with other information that may make your transition easier. Now with all of those steps completed, you are ready to move into your new home!

The Move

The move itself will be well-coordinated and scheduled by the team at the assisted living community. Chances are, you will receive a time frame to arrive, along with directions of where to park so that your family and staff can begin to do the heavy lifting. When you move in, you will likely be greeted with a welcome basket in your apartment, and a representative from the community will give you a walk-through of your new home. You will receive your apartment keys and any wearable technology that the assisted living community may provide, such as pendants to push in case of emergency.

Maintenance staff is available to assist you with your move, and you can even put in a work request to have them stop by in a few days to help hang a shelf or your favorite photos. Don’t forget to eat among all of the excitement; a staff representative will stop by to escort you to the dining room.

Meeting New Faces

Because you are a new face at the senior living community, you will have many staff visitors during your first few days. Everyone wants to get to know you and discover how they can serve you better! The dining director will likely stop by to talk to you about your food preferences and someone from the Engagement or Activities department will also stop by to get to know your past and current leisure preferences. Be honest with your answers and don’t be afraid to tell them what you like and don’t like. All of this information will help the staff serve you even better. Also, this is a great time to ask any questions you may have since the community is still so new to you.

The Welcome

While the staff members will be very welcoming upon your arrival, you will also get quite the hello from your new neighbors. Some communities have a designated “Welcome Wagon” committee of residents who love to be friendly faces and helpful neighbors to new residents. These residents will be the perfect people to ask questions you’ve been wondering about (Which is the best yoga class? What is the best dinner option?), and they are happy to help get you settled in.

The Follow-Up

If you are feeling a bit disoriented after your move into the senior living community, don’t worry. It is normal to feel overwhelmed about understanding assisted living for a few weeks or even months. Be honest with your family and with the staff about your feelings when they stop by or call to check on you. Your primary care physician may even stop by to see how you are adjusting.

A wonderful adventure awaits you, complete with new friends and healthy routines, at your new assisted living community. Grab your new keys and enjoy your new home!

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