Are you helping your older parent or loved one move to a memory care community? It’s currently estimated that 5.8 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. As the number of cases rise, many caregivers find that their loved one needs advanced care that they can no longer provide at home. Memory care communities like the one at Village on the Green offer a secure and compassionate environment for these older adults.
Whether you are just beginning your search for a memory care community or are well into the planning process, use this moving checklist to help make your loved one’s transition a smooth and successful one.
1. Make a Moving Plan
Begin by creating a moving plan that outlines the details of your moving timeline and sets expectations on which family members are available for which tasks. Consider breaking up your moving plan into time periods such as: two months before the move, one month before the move, the week of the move and the day of the move. Also remember to have a plan for unpacking!
Depending on your loved one’s condition, it can be helpful to discuss the move with them to allay any potential agitation or frustration. On the day of the move, however, you may want to have your loved one looked after by a friend or other family member. Watching the moving process could cause some distress or confusion. While this may be a difficult step for both you and your loved one, ensure that you stay positive and supportive.
2. Right-Size For the New Space
Take a realistic look at the size of your parent’s or loved one’s new space at the memory care community versus their current space. Right-sizing belongings to fit into their new lifestyle can be the most daunting task in this process. It can help to go through one room at a time, and to ask for help from friends and other family members.
Items you sort should fit into one of three categories:
- Keep. This will consist of essential and sentimental or comforting items that your parent will need (and which can fit!) in their new space.
- Donate or sell. If your parent intended to give away specific items to family members after they passed away, this may be a good time to share those items with intended recipients, depending on your loved one’s wishes. Many items can also be donated or sold at a garage sale or auction, depending on the number of items and their potential value.
- Discard. Evaluate your parent’s household ahead of the downsizing project to determine whether you will need a few garbage bags or, potentially, a dumpster for items that need to be discarded. Often, adult children find that they have decades’ worth of accumulated belongings to get through.
After this is completed, make a final list of items that will be going with your parent to their new space. Keep this list with you at all times during the move to help you double-check what has been moved and what hasn’t.
3. Consider Your Moving Options
Depending on how many items need to be moved after you downsize your parent’s belongings, you may seek out the services of a professional moving company. You can also work with the team members at the memory care community to get recommended moving services or ask if they can provide assistance with the move on their end.
Some communities may offer unpacking services to help your loved one settle in. Be sure that you take advantage of any resources offered to you.
4. Update Mailing Addresses
While you, another family member or a legal representative may be taking care of your loved one’s financial affairs, you will still want to fill out a change of address form online to ensure any personal mail – such as magazine or newspaper subscriptions – are forwarded. This will also automatically update your loved one’s address with government agencies such as Medicare and Social Security.
Complete this step at least two weeks before your parent’s scheduled moving date.
5. Perform a Final Walkthrough
After the movers have gone or the final items on your moving checklist are completed, perform a final walkthrough of your parent’s home or living space. This is to ensure that nothing has been overlooked or misplaced.
6. Unpack and Settle In
Finally, it will be time to settle your loved one into their new space. It can be helpful to get things unpacked and ready for them before they enter their new home. Go through your packing list to ensure that all items are accounted for. Make your parent’s bed, put familiar toiletries in their place and don’t forget to put up familiar photos on the walls or treasured items on their nightstand. As much as possible, try to replicate their rooms here so that everything is in a similar place to where it was in their previous home. When the space is ready, escort your loved one inside and show them where everything is. Point out the family photos and other familiar items. Above all, maintain a positive and upbeat attitude. Check in with the staff at their new home and let them know any of the concerns and questions you have about the next steps in your parent’s care plan.
What Is Memory Care Like at Village on the Green?
Village on the Green is a premier senior living and memory care community located in Longwood, Florida. Village on the Green is dedicated to providing quality, compassionate care for your family’s needs. Our state-of-the-art community offers specialized programming and customized individual care plans to help your loved one find meaning and joy in each day.