Moving into an assisted living facility is a lifestyle change that many seniors face as their ability to care for themselves becomes more difficult due to either physical or mental health limitations. While you wish you could stay in your familiar surroundings forever, you and your loved ones may realize that your health situation now requires more attention than you can handle in your own home.
Ideally, your new home in an assisted living facility may help fulfill your medical, nutritional, social, and supportive needs while enabling you to remain as independent as your abilities allow. In all probability, you may be downsizing from a single-family house or townhouse to a smaller home or apartment in the new location. With the layout of your new home, you know how much space you have available for personalizing the rooms with those keepsakes, treasures, and furnishings that you want to bring with you. Your loved ones can help you decide what household items and heirlooms can be given to family members or to charities for others to enjoy. With the help and support of your loved ones, your move can be as stress-free and emotionally comfortable as possible.
What would be the type of things to consider taking with you that can give you a sense of familiarity, comfort, and normalcy? Make checklists of daily necessities, keepsakes, prized mementos, and medications that you require when personalizing your new home. It helps to be practical when selecting those items that you wish to bring to your new home. Narrow down your list to a minimum those must-have things that represent your lifestyle and comfort zone, then add in more as you have room. Consider some of the following suggestions on what to pack for your relocation.
Personalizing Your New Home in an Assisted Living Facility
The Living Area: Bringing a favorite recliner, loveseat, coffee table, table or standing lamp, or bookcase lets you arrange the new room in a similar motif as your current home. You can place framed pictures, photo albums, and cherished keepsakes on the shelves of a bookcase. If you have a hobby, remember to bring those supplies that will let you continue with your handmade projects. You can keep those supplies in a storage bin or decorative chest when not in use.
Walls and Window Decorations: Hanging loved artwork or portraits on the walls and your own drapes on the windows is another way to retain your established personality throughout your new home.
The Bedroom: Bring your bedroom set if it will fit into the new bedroom. You can personalize the bedroom with your favorite throw pillows, bedspread, linens, and comforters. Most bedrooms in an assisted living facility will accommodate a full-size or queen-size bed. If you currently have a king-size bed, you may have to purchase a smaller bed, but do bring those personal accessories that reflect your personality.
The Wardrobe: The closet space in your new home may be smaller than your current space. Be selective when choosing what clothing to bring. Pack an assortment of your favorite warm and cold weather clothing, underwear, pajamas, bathrobe, sweaters, slippers, walking shoes, boots, formal footwear, exercise clothing, and evening wear. You can ask a family member to store those favorite wardrobe items that will not fit into the new closet space so that you have the opportunity to switch out outfits as your taste dictates or with the change in the seasons. Pack a supply of hangers for all of the coats and clothing you are bringing.
The Eating Area: When the new home has a kitchen and dining area, having and using your own kitchen essentials and serving ware adds a warm and friendly environment for your daily living. You know just what each item is for and you can store them in the drawers and cupboards similar to where you keep things today. Think about bringing small kitchen appliances such as a toaster, coffee pot, electric can opener, blender, and microwave that can be stored easily in the new space. It will help avoid potential fire accidents if the appliances have automatic turn-off systems.
Daily Necessities: Everyday necessities are those must-have everyday items that you use constantly. You may want to bring your own alarm clock, radio, television, laptop, CD player, and voice-controlled personal devices such as Alexa or Siri.
The Bathroom: Remember that you are going to your new home, not to a hotel. You can personalize your new bathroom by bringing a few sets of your favorite towels, as well as your scale, bath mat, bath sponge, shower chair, toothbrush holder, personal hygiene items and toiletries, and any other bathroom items you use on a daily basis.
Personal Must-Haves: Depending on your personal health situation, you need to bring those items that let you manage your daily life. Those items would include medications, prescriptions, CPAP or BPAP machine, rollators, walkers, canes, vision wear, reading glasses, hearing devices, and easy reach and grip devices.
Moving to a new location takes a lot of preparation, especially for older individuals. But, when you you move into an assisted living facility, you can bring your special items and treasures with you for a more personalized and comforting transition. Yes, it is a new chapter in your life’s story, and you can carry your life’s history with you when you bring those select items that mean the most to you and that reflect your lifestyle and personality.