Posted: September 28, 2020

Transitioning From Home to An Assisted Living Facility

For many seniors, a preferred option is to age in their own homes for a long as possible.  While this may be the perceived best option, some older adults come to a point where they find this ideal living condition unmanageable.  As a result, older adults have to learn how to transition into an assisted living facility.


The change that comes with moving is often difficult, affecting emotional and logistical obstacles associated with moving as an older adult.  Although this may be the case, there are basic considerations that make the transitioning process to an assisted living community much easier.  


Ask for Assistance

The first thing to consider in this transition process is to ask for help.  Moving to a new environment requires a lot of planning, so asking family members and friends for assistance during this process makes a huge difference.  Hiring movers is also an option during this time of downsizing, but the support of friends and family makes the process more personable and comfortable.  Additionally, having friends and family around often during and after the move also eases the psychological experience associated with this transition.  This is why family, friends, and even counselors are important contributors in transitioning from a home to an assisted living community.


Do Your Research

Be sure to research potential assisted living facilities with the help of loved ones and friends.  Part of the reason that makes the transition difficult for many older adults is the perception of loss of independence.  Some things to consider when looking for an assisted living home include location, nearby stores, amenities, visitation rules, and resident schedules.  This is why comparing facilities and doing your due diligence is crucial for finding the facility that is best for you.  


Use Choose Well San Diego’s facility search feature on the website in order to find facilities that meet your desired facility preferences such as memory care, preferred language, etc.  Also, chat with current residents and staff at potential facilities to get their opinions.  


Visit the Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) Beforehand

Before the transition takes place, visit the RCFE you intend to move to often.  Bring friends and family to visit with you so that you can get different perspectives about the facility that is to be your future home.  These visits allow you to learn about the RCFE, meet staff and residents, and understand the overall environment.  This assimilation helps with the transition process because you will already be familiar with the facility before you move in.


Personalize Your Space

The transition to an RCFE is eased when you make your room feel like home as much as possible.  As you downsize, take your time to reminisce while packing and involve loved ones during this process.  You can recreate your room to look just like your bedroom was, displaying family pictures and keepsakes.  Include anything you like to make your new room smell and feel like home.


Something to also consider before moving is getting an idea of how to set up your room.  Ask for a blueprint of the room you will be living in and use it to plan how you will arrange your furniture, if any, and “decorate.”  This room planning acts as a guide as to what to include when downsizing for the move and allows you to look forward to how your new home will look and feel.  


Be Part of Your New Community

Once you move it, be part of the community you chose to feel more at home.  Join activities and invite your loved ones to attend family-inclusive events your RCFE offers.  Being surrounded by others, new and familiar, will create relationships and new routines.     


Transitioning from your home to an assisted living community is a challenging move for anyone, especially when giving up some independence.  It is critical to plan and take steps needed to make this transition as smooth and easy as possible.  Following the suggestions above will make the move more comfortable, increase understanding and communication of the move, and ease the overall transition into your new home.