Transitioning to Senior Living: Downsizing Before the Move
Knowing when to move your loved one out of their family home and into assisted living is a delicate situation. Each senior’s experience will be different, and will require a compassionate touch to help them transition into a community. Downsizing before moving to senior living is another daunting task that many families and caregivers feel overwhelmed with undertaking.
Whether your loved one lives in a large home, or a small apartment, they will still count on your love and support to take care of them, and help them move into assisted living when the time is right.
Sometimes convincing your parent, spouse, or other loved one to move out of their home may not be easy, however, there are many benefits to moving them into a new community.
We hosted a virtual panel with experts Brad Rozansky, Principal at The Rozansky Group of Compass Real Estate, Donna Eichelberger, Social Worker and Senior Living Specialist at Graceful Transitions, and John Newell, Owner of Graceful Transitions.
The speakers provided advice, tips, and tricks to help assist your loved one with downsizing before moving to senior living. It can be overwhelming and sometimes emotional moving on to a new chapter, so that’s why we partnered with these three professionals to help families and caregivers make the move that’s right for themselves and their loved one.
How to Know When It’s the Right Time to Move Into Senior Living
As the caregiver, it’s your responsibility to make sure your loved one gets the care they require. You’re likely spending much of your week at your loved one’s home already, helping them complete their daily activities, preparing their meals, doing their laundry, and driving them to appointments.
When you’re not at their house, you may be concerned about them falling or forgetting to take their medication.
Helping them keep up their home and yard, while also handling their finances and other daily activities can lead you to burnout, feeling like you are unable to provide the amount of care they need.
Sometimes your loved one just needs more help than you can provide for them, especially if they are experiencing memory loss due to advancing Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Here are some signs to look for that may indicate your loved one needs to move into assisted living:
- A noticeable change in their behavior
- Sudden weight loss
- A recent fall
- Difficulty managing medications
- Changes in hygiene
- Difficulty communicating or experiencing worsening memory
Following an extended stay in the hospital may also be a good time for a move to assisted living.
Steps to Transition and Tips for Downsizing Before Moving to Senior Living
Your loved one has accumulated many possessions throughout their lifetime. They likely have knick-knacks, tools, appliances, furniture, clothes, books, and everything else! Parting with these possessions can be difficult, so remember to be compassionate when helping your loved one downsize.
It’s a good idea to have an assisted living community in mind before downsizing. This way you’ll know which items they should keep, and which things they can get rid of. If you have a certain community in mind, look at their floor plans and see what amenities are offered. This likely means that most appliances can be sold or donated, as they won’t have a need for many of those.
Also, knowing the size of the apartment or suite they’re moving into will help you decide which furniture to keep, and which to toss or donate.
Here are some tips and guidelines to downsize a home:
- Start with the garage and barn, as they’re filled with items and tools that won’t be necessary anymore
- Get rid of duplicate items
- Get rid of clothes that no longer fit. It’s likely there will be many old clothes that can be donated.
- Give possessions away to children and grandchildren.
- Leave the hardest rooms last, such as the bedroom and living room.
- Set aside the most important personal items so they don’t get lost.
- If they haven’t used an item in over a year, it can probably be donated, sold, or tossed.
- Consider getting a storage unit if time is tight.
- Work with a moving company to lift and transport heavy items.
How to Choose from the Many Care Levels Offered
While searching for assisted living communities you’ve likely come across the terms independent living, assisted living, and memory care. You may not know the differences between these types of care, however, knowing the differences is important so your loved one can get the appropriate level of care they need.
If you’ve noticed your loved one’s memory or mobility worsening, make sure the community they’re moving into has different levels of care that can accommodate their changing needs so they can age in place.
Independent living is for seniors who wish to live a hassle-free lifestyle in a high-end community. This is a great option for seniors, including senior couples, who wish to downsize the responsibilities of maintaining their home and yard so they can spend every day relaxing, attending life enrichment programs, focusing on wellness, and socializing with friends.
Your loved one no longer has to worry about maintenance, repairs, cleaning, or cooking. They simply get to live in a happy community and live every day to the fullest.
Seniors who live in assisted living may begin to require extra assistance completing their activities of daily living. They still get the same amenities and social-rich atmosphere as those in independent living, but they just need an extra hand.
Sometimes this means getting assistance with bathing, taking medication, walking, using the bathroom, or having access to a nursing staff 24/7 in case they ever need it. Often rehabilitation services are featured on-site as well.
Seniors living in memory care often need assistance with most of their daily activities because of early to advanced memory loss from Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Unlike independent and assisted living, where residents have more independence, memory care communities provide more careful supervision and around-the-clock care.
These communities are often in a more secure building that’s been specially designed to minimize fall risk and prevent residents from wandering.
How Kensington Park Senior Living Helps Seniors Transition Into Their New Home and Community
Kensington Park Senior Living is an independent living, assisted living, and memory care residence located in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Our enhanced program goes above and beyond what most assisted living communities can offer. This allows us to provide a higher level of medical care to your loved one than many other communities can provide.
We offer a full spectrum of clinical support for residents of all different health care needs. We believe in allowing our residents to age in one place, and can accommodate changing needs as they occur, so there’s never a need for them to move out of our community.
At Kensington Park Senior Living, we stand behind Our Promise to love and care for your family as we do our own.
Reach out and say hello! We’d love to give you more information on our floor plans and amenities that can assist your family with downsizing before moving to senior living.
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