Planning for a Successful Move to Senior Living

Planning for a successful move to senior living

As you plan a move to senior living, you’ll want to think about the actual day itself: what to bring with you so that you can be comfortable and organized and avoid last-minute stress, as well as the tasks you’ll want to accomplish before moving day is over.

Before moving day, be sure you have all your new resident paperwork in order. Be sure you’ve oriented yourself to the community and its policies and informed the staff of your move-in date.

Getting ready for your move to senior living: What to bring

It’s possible the community will provide a list in advance of suggestions for what to bring with you. However, there could be certain items that you know for sure you’ll need at arm’s reach on that busy day. (So don’t bury these in a box, unless you label it “first night.”)

For example:

  • Comfort items. It’s a move to retirement, senior living—a carefree life! So don’t forget to bring some comfort with you. A favorite blanket. Pillows. Linens for your bed. A clock. Maybe a coffee pot.
  • Personal care. Make sure to bring a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush and comb as well as a shaving kit for men or cosmetics for women. Include any other personal grooming items in addition to several bath towels, hand towels and washcloths. And don’t forget to have any medications you regularly take easily accessible.
  • Clothing. Bring clothes that are comfortable to wear and easy to get on and off. Also bring comfortable rubber-soled shoes to help prevent falls. Don’t forget undergarments, pajamas, socks, robe and slippers as well as a light sweater or jacket. Casual and comfortable are the keys for a move to retirement senior living.
  • Favorites. You can add a touch of home right away, with books or music that gives you pleasure. Bring favorite snacks and drinks as well for a quick burst of energy during the day, and be sure to take breaks. Be sure to break for lunch so you can stay in a positive frame of mind and make your move to senior living a seamless experience.


Successful Transitions Guide 

Your move to senior living: the actual day

  • Set up your fundamentals. Try not to wait until nighttime to get things in order that can help you rest at the end of the day. Make your bed, plug in a lamp or two, and set up a clock. If you love to cook for yourself, you’ll need your essential kitchen items such as paper plates and napkins and a coffee pot, so get them out. Also, unpack your essentials for the bathroom: soap, a set of towels, floormat, etc. Think about what is required to help you be comfortable and safe for the first night and morning after your move to senior living
  • Connect. While moving day can feel like a blur, be sure to greet each resident or staff member from the community who stops by to say hello. Senior living communities typically have new resident ambassadors (or some type of buddy program ) to help you find your feet. They’ll pair you or your loved one with a person or persons who share similar interests or backgrounds to show you the ropes and help you feel welcome after your move to senior living.
  • Pick their brain. Keep in mind, the residents of your new community have been where you are and may have some tips that helped them when they made their move to senior living. And it’s a great conversation starter!
  • Get active. You’ve probably been given a copy of the activities calendar from a resident ambassador or the Lifestyle Director, so go ahead and check out what’s going on…and join in as soon as you can. It’s a sure fire way to feel more at home, and a great distraction if you or your loved one are having some trouble adjusting.
  • Enjoy your first meal. Another tough one is that first meal in your new community. Even if you’ve visited prior, that first meal as a resident can be stressful. Have a family member join you, sit with your resident ambassador or both to take the edge off as you meet and talk with new friends and neighbors. If you’re feeling a bit weary, arrange to have a meal brought to your apartment. But be sure to join the other residents in the dining venues as soon as you are comfortable doing so.
  • Relax! It may be easier said than done, but remember, making the move to senior living means you now have the time to do things at your pace, without deadlines or pressures. There’s so much to look forward to in your new lifestyle and you want to enjoy it all. So exhale…you’ve done it!

You’ve worked hard and are ready to enjoy retirement living with the freedom you deserve!

It’s easy to make that happen at Senior Star. Download our free guide Step-by-Step: Successful Transitions to Senior Living for more helpful information. Questions about senior living? Contact us to learn more.


Successful Transitions Guide