The move to memory care is a big transition, and it’s natural to feel a bit uncertain or nervous. Like most major changes in life, there can be an adjustment period. When they settle in, though, most seniors find that the move to memory care offers better support, greater freedom, more fun, and access to a wide community of friends. Here are some strategies that can help you prepare for your transition to a new community.
Choose the Right Community
The single most important thing you can do to make the move to memory care easier is choose the right community. When you choose a great memory care community, you can feel confident knowing that you’re transitioning to a safe, nurturing home where your needs are always honored. As you explore your options and tour communities, some questions to ask that can help guide the decision-making process include:
- Does this community offer a continuum of support that can adapt to my needs?
- Do I feel like I fit in here?
- What amenities and activities does this community offer?
- How does this community support my family?
- Do I like the staff?
- What specific amenities are included at each price point?
- Do I like the homes?
- Do I feel confident that this community is a good choice for my needs?
- Do I know how I will pay for this community? Does my Medicare or long-term care insurance policy cover memory care?
Get to Know the Community
Before you move to a memory care community, spend some time getting to know the community and its residents. Attend an open house, as well as any events that are open to the public or future residents. If you can, focus on getting to know a few residents or staff members, and familiarize yourself with the grounds. This helps the community feel less intimidating and more like home, even before you move.
Downsize Your Possessions
If you currently live in a large home, you’ll probably need to do some downsizing to get ready for your move. This will feel less daunting if you start early, recruit the help of loved ones, and do a little bit at a time. These tips can help you get ready:
- Try giving away heirlooms now, so you can enjoy loved ones enjoying them, rather than leaving them to a beneficiary in a will.
- Consider renting a storage space if there are some possessions you can’t bear to let go.
- Invest in quality organization systems so that you can make the most of every inch of space. Wall shelving can buy you plenty of floor space.
- Buy new, smaller furniture. This may help your space feel fresh and stoke your excitement about the move.
- Turn it into a party. Make some food (or order in), then invite friends and family over to help. You might even let everyone take one heirloom they really love.
Plan Your First Week
Uncertainty is always scary. Rid yourself of it by planning out your first week. Check the community’s calendar for fun activities. Schedule a lunch with your loved ones, and ask your family to drop by more frequently. If you know how you’re going to spend your time, your move may begin to feel like a long-awaited vacation.
Knowing you have chosen the right community for your needs can help make the transition easier. The Arbor Company proudly serves seniors of all ages, health histories, and points of view. We’d love to help you find the perfect community for your needs. To learn more, download our free guide, “Finding a Safe and Comfortable Senior Living Community.”