Once you’ve made a decision to take charge of your own health, safety or social needs by moving to a Senior Living Community,
1. Prepare in advance
Whether choosing to move now or later, you should start putting your home in order today. Begin by evaluating what you really need to keep and then start to downsize, clear out clutter, plan an Estate Sale or make major home repairs. It is a proven fact that homes will sell for a higher price if they are “market ready”, or “Staged”, at the time of listing. (See more about Home Staging) link to BLOG
2. Establish a plan
A good plan can save time and but a professional, well structured plan can help alleviate stress and save money. Establish a relocation timetable as best you can and gather advice from qualified professionals such as movers, realtors, financial advisors and estate sale professionals. You may consider hiring a move manager such as Caring Transitions, who will establish a team approach to ensure a successful senior home transition.
3. Establish a timeline
Start with the date of your intended move and then schedule everything from that time back to present day. Set some realistic steps and goals for moving forward and don’t try to do everything at once. It can be overwhelming. Establish definitive dates for having meetings, hiring resources or completing projects.
4. Space Plan
Very few moves can be successful without an accurate space plan, especially when moving to late life housing, which is typically much smaller than traditional family homes. Those who chose to move without a plan are often distraught by the end of a move when they realize their new apartment is cramped and uncomfortable due to too much furniture or poorly planned storage. Professional organizations such as Caring Transitions work closely with clients to understand what is meaningful and important among their possessions. They utilize accurate 3-D space planning tools that help create ideal new environments and help clients feel at home while saving them the expense of moving unnecessary items.
Downsizing goes hand-in-hand with space planning for a smaller home, yet it is sometimes the most difficult part of “senior move”. Many people find it daunting to sort through a lifetime of possessions in order to narrow down the selection of items they will move to a new home. To help older adults who struggle with those decisions, Industry expert Nan Hayes has spent years teaching companies such as Caring Transitions how to help clients “rightsize” their possessions. Rightsizing helps individuals focus on what is necessary and important to their daily, care, comfort and personal identity and places less importance on sheer “volume” of possessions. In other words, helping clients identify what is personally, but not necessarily materially, valuable.
Many items fall by the wayside during this rightsizing process and those that hold sentimental value are best given to other as legacy gifts and those that hold material value are best awarded as inheritances or liquidated through auction, estate sale or online auction.
6. Seek support
There can be no doubt that late life home transitions are complex and stressful. You should always seek both personal and professional support throughout the process. Be sure and discuss plans with trusted friends and relatives who have a history of supporting your decisions. The right personal support system can help you evaluate information gathered from professional advisors and create a good sounding board for reviewing choices and making decisions.
Above all, remain focused on what is important for your health, welfare and safety. As long as your medical and financial circumstances allow time to plan, seek the advice and support needed so you can remain in control of this next step in your life.
©Caring Transitions 2000-2014