Transitioning to Assisted Living - What You Should Do

    Sharon Wagner December 14, 2021

    Moving to a foreign place can be very hard when you have lived in a certain place for years. The transition is harder on senior loved ones who are moving to assisted living since they will live with strangers. The experience can also be very intimidating. There's no proven way to remove the extreme anxiety they're experiencing; one can only ease the process.

    These steps can help make this process easier for both you and your loved one. Please read on


    Choose the right community

    Be keen on where you are going to enroll. Take your time and carry out in-depth research on every available assisted home around your area. Take tours to these homes and get a sense of the overall environment. Examine the dining situation, staff and members relationship, as well as the member-to-member relationship. Also, be very inquisitive about the stay at their establishment. It will help you clear any doubts and make an informed decision.

    Research is most effective if carried out weeks or months before the move. Waiting until the last minute will make you pick the wrong place due to the rush. Evaluate the area's level of cleanliness, the resident's mood and staff's friendliness. If you are in doubt, trust your intuition.


    Research on costs

    Get quotes from the different institutions you visit to compare and go with what works for you.

    Remember, packages may vary depending on each establishment as well as the services offered. A home may offer an all-inclusive package, meaning everything is catered for at a monthly fee. Other establishments will charge you depending on the services that your loved one will need. And the costs might vary. If you have special needs, make sure that you ask if that will affect costs.

    If you are tight on funds, consider selling your old home to pay for assisted living. Research home selling prices around your area to get an idea of how much you can sell for.


    Pack efficiently and deliberately

    Check with your community and see if they offer packing services. Suppose they do give a detailed list of everything you need to be packed and how you want it done.

    If you are doing it yourself, do it at least a week ahead of moving day. Start by packing important things like toiletries, medication, clothing, and beddings, and do not stress about doing everything right away. This is only possible if you start packing earlier. After taking care of the big things, move on to the smaller items that may still be important.

    If a loved one is packing for you, create a list and mark what they've put away so that you don't forget. A list helps you stay organized and saves time. It also helps you know what you have not packed.


    Take care of important issues

    Ensure that you take care of all housekeeping items and logistics. When you are moving, there are things that you won't be using anymore. Cancel all at-home services and forward your address to the community. Also, remember to update your address on credit cards, bank accounts, magazine subscriptions, and other relevant areas.


    Allow time for the emotional transition

    You must allow yourself and your loved ones time to transition emotionally. This process gives room for a lot of anxiety, apprehension, and fear. It is normal and expected that you'd feel this way. Encourage your friend or relative to journal if they are not very expressive with their words or emotions. Journaling can be a great outlet for you as well. Look for amazing journaling products at CreativeWriteNow for both you and other affected parties.

    Additionally, join support groups and social communities that will help you with the transition. Be patient if a closed one is taking longer to transition; it might be harder for them. Talk to a friend about how you feel and its impact on you, and it'll ease the process.


    Set up your loved ones new living space

    Make your space feel more familiar and homey. Decorate the space the way you did back at home, and position the furniture to match what you had in their previous home. You can ask for help from the staff or loved ones when moving furniture and heavy items around. Ask about their services about moving, packaging, and unpacking

    Set larger items exactly the position they were and let the small items match the new space. This will help you transition smoothly and adapt to the new space. Contact the community about their policies and what they allow within the establishment.

    Taking your time and creating a functional and beautiful space will go a long way in smoothening a senior's transition to the new home. Before moving, make sure you check the in-depth checklist for moving to an assisted living.


    How to adapt to assisted living

    Now that you’ve settled in, look for groups within the community that you can join to keep you engaged while in the establishment. You can join game groups, book clubs, choir groups, and other groups that you find appealing depending on what you enjoy.

    Make friends by being friendly and kind to the residents in the assisted living community. Help out whenever you can and ask whenever you need help.

    Take walks around the establishment to familiarize yourself with the area, ask someone to go with you so that you don’t get lost or forget your way back.

    Lastly, engage yourself with light exercises, Yoga, book reading, and socializing to get the most out of your time.



    Transitioning to assisted living can be very difficult, especially for people who are used to staying alone. Ensure that you have researched and are well prepared for what to expect once you move. Adjust everything, like changing your address to match your new home. Journal to keep track of your days and write about how you feel. Also, after moving, try and be social to smoothen your transition process. Remember to exercise and keep fit.


    Sharon Wagner logoAuthor bio:  Sharon Wagner uses her site,, to offer advice geared specifically toward seniors to help them make healthier choices and enjoy their golden years.