Making the move: choosing the right location

Are you moving yourself or a parent or relative into a senior living community? Here are a few things to think about.

Moving yourself

Once you have decided that the time is right to move into a senior living community, you’ll want to spend significant time choosing the one that most closely aligns with both your present and projected lifestyles. Along with financial, health, social and other considerations, you should put choosing the right location toward the top of your list.

It’s true that moving into a new community can be exciting, and may open up fresh possibilities for you to enjoy life. For example, you may find everything you have ever wanted within a senior living community that’s on the other side of town from where you currently live. It may have the latest technology, modern apartments, designer interiors, multiple cafes and other gathering places, a putting green and all the appealing bells and whistles you’ve always dreamed about.

If that’s what you want, go for it. But unless you’re ready for a complete change, make sure you’re not isolating yourself from friends and family and the familiar places that give you peace of mind — including shopping, health and medical services, restaurants and even your well known landmarks.

Moving a parent or relative

Should you move your mother from her neighborhood or even her hometown? Ideally, you should keep your mother close to the people and places to which she is accustomed. That’s probably what she wants, too.

However, if there is not a local senior living setting that meets her needs—or if she needs the personal attention that only you can provide—you may have to move her near to you. In this event, you will become her primary contact, friend and support until she becomes assimilated into her new environment. This could take days, weeks, or months.

Remember: her well being is the most important consideration.

Finding a senior living community for a parent who lives in another state has a nationwide online senior living directory, so you can search for a senior living community in any state from any state. And once you’re ready to make some decisions, our advisors can help you narrow your options to fit your parent’s care needs and budget.

If you will go through the resources available to you on the website, you will better understand what is involved in finding the perfect senior living community — even from thousands of miles away.

Of course, nothing can take the place of a personal visit to tour a prospective community. Once you have narrowed your list, it’s a good idea to travel to your parent's hometown and visit each community on your list. If you or your parent are unable to take a tour, perhaps your parent has a friend or neighbor in the area who will help.

It’s a big decision. Make sure you do everything you can in the beginning to ensure your parents well being in their new home.

Moving tips

Get over the dread by getting help. Start by recruiting family members or friends to help you make the initial decisions, because you don’t want to do this by yourself. Moving is not only a physical undertaking, it is also an emotionally exhausting chore. That’s why you need help.

See the end from the beginning. You will be downsizing, and you just won’t have room for everything you own. Start by choosing only the non-negotiable items you must have. These are things like your favorite mementos that cannot be replaced. Don't keep anything without envisioning how it will fit into your new living space.

Hire a move coordinator. There is a relocation company in almost every major city that can help you with all the logistics: from preparing your home for sale to packing up and moving — even property appraisals and investing the equity from the sale of your home. Here are a few more moving tips.

Moving in to a senior living community is a life-changing decision. Be sure you make the choices that will change your life for the better.