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Move-in Guide & Checklist to Ensure a Smooth Transition for Seniors

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If you’re moving a loved one into a senior living community, it’s important to understand this transition into their new setting may be difficult and disruptive to their normal routine, but WSL knows firsthand that thoughtful and proper preparation can ease stress. This checklist offers an outline of necessities and tips for a smooth move in.

Our guide for moving into WSL (Wentworth Senior Living)

Once a resident has been accepted and given their apartment number, we often explain to their families the next step is typically going through the process of downsizing. Remember, less is more! Although they might be moving from a single-family residence or multibedroom condo, their new apartment will only accommodate a fraction of their items. Some families will hold onto certain items for them and then switch them out, such as wall hangings, bedding, and seasonal decorations every so often. The family is more than welcome to move everything on their own terms, but we also work with local moving companies which we can provide contact information for. Additional support as far as helping set up the TV’s and attach framed photos to the wall, WSL staff will gladly help with.

All in all: Aim for the space to feel like home. One benefit of bringing their own furniture is that once they have moved everything in, the space already looks more familiar. Their apartment should be cozy and comfortable, while allowing for mobility. For example, rugs are tripping hazards, so we ask you to consider leaving those behind. In terms of furniture, stick to the essentials; A bed, nightstand, dresser, side tables and 2 chairs or a couch are plenty for a typical studio. Our website has example apartments and floor plans to help you visualize the space.

The most successful of moves occur during the morning, mid-week (Tuesday’s-Thursdays) and when a family sets up the room before the resident arrives. That way, the new resident can focus on adjusting to their new home, rather than the stress and often overwhelming feeling that comes with unpacking. These details really help with making the transition easier on the resident; From getting on a schedule with meals, to being acquainted with staff, and everything in between. We are aware that this is not always applicable to everyone’s situation. Alternatively, other days and times can be worked around, and moving the furniture in once the resident has arrived can also be accomplished. If it is needed WSL has rentable furniture to make sure residents are off to a good start until their furnishings have arrived.

This “Move-in” checklist may vary from one family to another, but most importantly, the space should feel comfortable with all the items they would need for their day-to-day routines.

What you can expect on move-in day

Upon arrival, we will greet the new resident and family members, and guide them to their new space. Your loved one receives individualized support from the moment they step foot into our building. One of our favorite parts of the welcome process is introducing new residents to their neighbors, staff, and anyone we run into! This is a great opportunity to connect with new friends and feel more comfortable.

Each resident will be given key cards (for building and room access) and a pendant (Alert button). These items are important in keeping everyone safe during their time at WSL. We will show them how to use all of these items, as well as the phone system and the cable that we have provided. We will go over general information and who they call for certain questions.

To get your loved one involved from the start, we will lead them to their first few activities. These activities are a key part in helping your loved one adjust. A Forbes article highlights the importance of social activities to the mental health of seniors. “Research shows that both social engagement and physical activity—two priorities supported by quality senior living communities—are associated with better cognitive function.” Coupled with social engagement, we encourage our residents to stay active through various exercises, offered daily.

At WSL, we offer a wide variety of activities to keep our residents stimulated. A few of our offerings include chair yoga, reading and discussing of the newspaper, tea and trivia, book club, and walking group. Our programming is always evolving to satisfy the diverse hobbies and interests of our residents. Check out our full enrichment calendar and more helpful information about activities here.

Depending on when the resident arrives at WSL, we will also escort them to meals. We will help them find their assigned seat, meet their table mates, and show them how to order meals when in the dining room. This poses as a great time to talk to other residents, take everything in and relax.

The National Institute on Aging echoes this point. “People who engage in personally meaningful and productive activities with others tend to live longer, boost their mood, and have a sense of purpose.” Your loved one will be supported and engaged by joining a strong community. We know this change may feel overwhelming. Our goal is to support your loved one in having independence in a safe environment.

WSL has a huge support system in our communities, from housekeeping to clinical staff, your loved one will feel welcome as soon as they walk through our front doors and every day after. It is a big transition, but we are here to guide and make it go as smoothly as possible.

Helpful Tips

  • Bring any prescription medications in their prescribed bottles as well as any over-the-counter medications your loved one uses (Tylenol, Tums, etc.).
  • Our facilities change linens weekly, so please bring four sets of sheets, if possible. We provide a hamper and bag for laundry. Trash cans will also be placed in apartments by WSL.
  • Our facilities supply Brita filters installed on the faucet for clean drinking water.
  • Any size bed will fit, but the height of the bed should be manageable. A rule of thumb is that the resident should be able to sit on the bed while standing.
  • WSL can set up a land line phone for residents if desired. Once the resident brings in the telephone, we will set it up.

To learn more about the necessary items for your loved one to pack, download this helpful checklist that includes a comprehensive list of what to bring to a senior living facility.