Helping Someone Move to a Senior Care Residence
Moving to a skilled nursing or assisted living residence—like Charlesgate—involves adjustments that are both emotional and practical. Any move to a new home often leads to feeling that you’ve “lost your bearings”—your sense of familiarity and belonging. Making new friends and settling into a whole new scene takes effort and a willingness to stretch and take risks, no matter what a person’s age or health status.
There are practical considerations too: What to take? How to pack? What to do with the things we don’t take? If your friend or loved one is moving, you can help ahead of time, on move-in day, and during the days and weeks following the move.
Before the move, friends and family can help by:
- Getting information from the residence about space limitations and what personal clothing and items will be needed and helpful.
- Helping pack these personal items.
- Making arrangements for other things not taken.
- Making arrangements for forwarding mail.
- Canceling any unneeded personal or household services, such as the daily newspaper.
- Marking all clothing and personal items with the person’s name.
- Making a list of the personal property being taken to the new residence.
On the day of the move, support of a family member or friend can make all the difference. Here are some simple steps:
- Help your loved one unpack.
- Place photos, favorite mementos and other personal items where they will help create a feeling of home.
- Share a meal.
- Get to know a few people on the staff and a few of the other residents.
- Learn a bit about the activities, amenities, and services available.
- Spend some quiet time in conversation as the process winds down.
- If you can, plan ahead for your next visit.
After the move
One of the biggest fears for nursing home residents is that they will be left out or even forgotten. That where they live will come between them and the people they know and love.
The truth is there will be differences. Your loved one and his or her support network will have some adjustments to make. But almost always the downside is outweighed by an upside. Care will be improved. Medical and personal care challenges will be dealt with. Staying “socially connected” and “physically active” will become easier—and maybe even improve. And all of these differences can mean living longer and with a higher quality of life.
You can help your loved one adjust to the move—in fact, take advantage of it—by staying actively involved as friend and guest. Check in often with your loved one and with the staff. And if your loved one approves, plan to be part of his or her care conferences.