Moving a loved one into a retirement home is never an easy task. A new living arrangement can be scary and disheartening, which is why it's important for you to help the move go as smoothly as possible. If you have a senior citizen in your life who is transitioning into a retirement home, here are a few steps you can take to help make the move easier for them.
Know What Will Be Offered
Before you start packing belongings, it's important to know what exactly is going to be provided. Most retirement homes provide the basics, like a bed and a dresser. But it's a good idea to visit the room your loved one will be staying in so you can know what to expect. Knowing the floor space and potential layout will make it easier to decide what furniture you should bring. Or if your loved one wants to bring their own furniture, make sure this is allowed and know what needs to be done with the furniture already in the room.
It's also important to know what other items and services are provided. Items like towels, bedding, TVs, and personal care products may be provided depending on the home. You should know if they are provided so you don't have to worry about bringing them. Additionally, you should ask about laundry services and cable to know if they are offered or if that's something you need to set up separately. Every retirement home is different, so it's important to ask about these things so you can better prepare for the move.
Pack the Essentials
There are certain items that obviously need to be packed -- things like clothes and toiletries are probably at the top of the packing list. But there are a few other important things it's important to not forget about. Important documents, like a birth certificate, insurance information, and passport should be carefully packed away. If there is no need for these to be at the retirement home, make sure they are stored somewhere safely. Additionally, any prescription medications need to be moved to the home. It's important that the retirement home staff is aware of any medications so they can ensure they get taken and refilled as needed. And lastly, any valuables should be carefully packed and transported. This could include jewelry or antiques, but it could also include sentimental items. Family videos and pictures should be brought and put somewhere where your loved one can easily access them whenever they want. It's important to ensure that those comfort items that make home feel like home, are packed and brought in order to ease the transition into the retirement home.
Create a Familiar Environment
And lastly, it's important to create a comforting, familiar environment for your loved one in their new home. Moving somewhere new, especially away from family, can be scary at any age. Many senior citizens may be reluctant and feel sad when they have to move into a retirement home, which is why it's important to make the move as positive as possible. It's crucial to not rush difficult decisions regarding what to bring when moving seniors into retirement homes, as this could cause the move to be even more stressful. Instead, if they want to bring something, let them bring it. Items can always be discarded once they've settled in and realized they don't need everything they brought.
If possible, try to rearrange the bedroom similar to theirs at home. If they wake up seeing the same view in their room, it may help ease the transition. If they have a favorite rug, blanket, or bookshelf, make sure it's moved into their room. Overall, doing your best to create a familiar environment will help them feel more at home.
Although helping a senior citizen move into a retirement home is one of the more difficult tasks you may face in life, it doesn't have to be a long, difficult process. By keeping these tips in mind, you can help your loved one successfully move their belongings into their new living arrangements, and hopefully they'll feel at home in no time.