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Preparing for Your Senior Living Transition - Tips for Downsizing

Elizabeth Meyer | Nov 10, 2015

We know deciding to transition to a senior living community is a big step. As you consider your community, select your floor plan, and gain the support of your loved ones, keep in mind the physical move. There is a lot that accompanies this step, including downsizing the contents of your current home. We’ve compiled some tips for you to help during this seemingly momentous and often overwhelming task.

Why Downsizing is Necessary

MovingToSeniorLivingThe average American moves 11 times in their lifetime. Maybe you fall into that category, or perhaps the home you’re in now is only your second or third in all of your life. When you consider how many decades’ worth of memories and experience you’ve had, the amount of things you’ve collected is directly proportionate. You might have closets, attics, basements, and garages filled with years of items, accumulations, and collections. Downsizing before you transition to your new senior living community is necessary so you have time to decide what happens to your belongings.

Carefully choose what to take with you, what to donate, what to throw, what to sell, and what to pass down to your family. And, enlist help. The task will simply be too much for one or two people to handle on their own. Ask a family member or friend to organize a cleaning and sorting weekend or two. Split your home and property into smaller sections so it’s not as overwhelming. Take time to enjoy the process … that’s right. You can enjoy it. Your nostalgia and memories will definitely be present as you open doors and boxes and corners of your home previously untouched. Take your time processing what this means to you. There’s no rush, and there’s no one else who will appreciate the endearing sentiment quite as much as you will.

Four Tips for Downsizing Your Home 

Here are some things to think about during pre-move planning:

  1. Communicate. Moving to senior living can be a social process. You will need help from family, friends, and professionals. Whether you’re transitioning to senior living because of your desire for more social time, have access to more amenities and an easier way of life, security, or to be closer to family, there’s a lot to be discussed. Be open. If you’re anxious, have lingering questions or concerns, or simply overwhelmed, let your supporters know. No one expects this to be a quick or easy transition for you.
  1. Be direct. Family and caregivers tend to play a big role in this process, especially if your health is a concern. For caregivers, it’s easy to take over the task of sorting, packing, and decision making because it’s natural. If you’re not comfortable with the decisions being made or at rate at which it’s happening, speak up.
  1. Be thoughtful about your possessions. Put thought into what you sort into the “take” pile. This might mean it’s your current furniture and belongings as will reasonably fit. Perhaps since this is a new phase of life, you opt for new furniture for your fresh start with a few meaningful items from your current home. This is your decision, and it’s up to you.
  1. Consider your new community’s floor plan, and decide how you want your new space designed. If you yearn for the familiarity of home, plan to arrange your furniture and belongings in a way that will resemble their previous setup. Alarm clock on the right side of the bed, kitchen stool right next to the phone, or your shelves containing your photos, books, and mementos just as they are now will help you transition into your new home.

Walker Methodist Supports Senior Living Transition

Walker Methodist plays a very important role in this step. We’re tireless in our efforts to ensure you’re adjusting well, feel at home, and are comfortable in your new surroundings. We’ll have staff members meet with you and your family, host a new resident orientation, and take extra time to make sure you’re acquainted to both people and the community. One of our values is collaboration – this is where we shine. Wait until you meet your new neighbors; you’re going to feel so loved!

Download Your 10 Steps to Transitioning to a Senior Living Community Ebook  


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