You’ve made a wonderful decision for your loved one in choosing senior living, but now what’s next? There are actually a few key steps between saying “yes” and moving day. Here’s what to expect in general, and how to prepare.
After putting down a deposit, an assessment will be scheduled to ensure your loved one has all the care they require and to get to know them better! The assessment also determines any additional costs for services that may be necessary to fully support your loved one. Depending on the community you’ve chosen some care and services may be within the monthly fee and others separate rent and care entirely.
Following the assessment, your lease signing will be scheduled with the Executive Director. Make sure to ask ahead of time what paperwork is needed for this meeting as each community can be different, but typically you will need:
- A physician’s clearance form
- Insurance, Medicare and Social Security cards
- Chest X-Ray or a negative TB test
- Legal documents such as Healthcare Proxy, Power of Attorney and DNR paperwork
Preparing for the Move to Senior Living
It can make the transition easier if you involve your loved one in preparing for the move as much as possible. Not only does it give them the opportunity to start processing some of the emotions ahead of the move, it also gives them a sense of ownership in the transition which can instill more confidence about it. You can use this time to offer much needed reassurance that you and the rest of the family will still be an active part of their life as well.
In considering what to bring, ask the community for a copy of the floor plan or whether they have interactive floor plans and/or room planners online that can help you visualize your loved one’s new space. Also, check on any restrictions or recommendations for what to bring ahead of time, but in general, you should pack:
- Comfort items – Perhaps a favorite blanket or throw along with sheets, a bedspread and a clock.
- Personal care – Include your loved one’s personal care and grooming items as well as bath towels, hand towels and washcloths.
- Clothing – Your loved one will need clothing items that are comfortable to wear and easy to get on/off as well as rubber-soled shoes to help prevent falls. Also include undergarments, pajamas, socks, robe and slippers.
- Their favorites – Anything that would make your loved one feel more at home like photos, keepsakes or perhaps even some favorite furniture pieces if allowed, plus any snacks, books and/or music that they love.
A key on this day is to try to stay positive. Certainly, there will be nerves and emotion which is perfectly normal, just try not to let them get the best of your loved one (or you). It can help to focus on all there is to look forward to in senior living. For example, in our boutique senior living homes, they’ll benefit from personalized care plus a familiar and comfortable home setting as well as a range of amenities and activity programs including fitness, social and enrichment opportunities Not to mention the peace of mind that help is available 24-hours a day.
Additional tips to help the day go smoothly:
- Set up their space — This is one of the first things you should do as the sooner you unpack and make your loved one’s space feel more like home, the sooner it actually will!
- Get them connected — Help your loved one meet some of the other residents – many communities even have new resident ambassadors to help you feel welcome. Also, grab an activity calendar and see what’s available that your loved one would enjoy.
- Just be there – Sometimes that’s the best thing you can do. Again, reassure your loved one that you’re still just as much of a part of each other’s lives. Perhaps even pre-schedule times for visits and/or calls on the calendar to give them something to look forward to and encourage their friends as well as other family members to do so too!
For more information on senior living, download our Family Decision Toolkit or call (224) 333-6247 to speak to a team member.