Moving homes is a big decision for any family. It is especially true for seniors. When moving from an existing home into an assisted living community, it is important to make the transition as easy as possible. There are a lot of responsibilities that must be planned for to ensure the moving process runs smoothly.

Here is a quick checklist of things to remember, to make the process easier.

1. Selling and existing home or apartment
 If you are looking at needing to sell a home it is important to consult a professional. In our area there are real estate agents that specialize in helping seniors sell their homes and transition into assisted living communities.

If you or your loved one is currently renting a home or apartment it is important to make sure you know when the lease expires. There could be costly fees associated with breaking a lease. It is a good idea to consult with the property manager well in advance of the move out date.

2. Packing and Moving
When moving,  it is important to make sure personal property is delivered to the new home safely and efficiently. You might consider hiring a professional mover to assist in packing and moving you or your loved ones home.

There is a lot of anxiety around deciding what to keep, and what to let go. Having friends and relatives help during this process is also a good idea.

The benefits of hiring a professional is their familiarity with your assisted living community. A lot of moving companies already have relationships with local facilities, and know the best way to get items to your home without damaging them.

3. Do your Homework on the Facility
Living in a new environment, and meeting new people brings a lot of stress to the transition. It is important to take time to do your homework about the assisted living community you are planning on moving too.

Most facilities will have information packets and brochures to help you plan for up coming activities. It will be important to get involved in the community, so you or your loved one will make new friends quickly. Having fun, and meeting new people will help with the stress and anxiety of moving.

4. Planning and Paying for an Assisted Living Community
When you are creating your budget there are a few professionals you will want to consult with. You are going to want to meet with your Insurance and Financial Services representative, your accountant, and possibly your attorney.

Since you will pay the majority of the expense out of pocket it will be important to make sure you have considered any possible insurance policies to help with payment.

Meeting with your Financial Services Representative is also important to make sure you have enough liquid assets to pay your monthly expenses. Having this conversation early in the process will save you a lot of money in fees and surcharges to gain access to money in your retirement accounts.

Meeting with your accountant will be important especially if you sold your home in the process. There might be some additional tax deductions you can take advantage of. If you had a mortgage on your home you will also want to discuss how it will affect your taxes going forward. Without your mortgage you might lose some tax deductions in the future.

It is always a good idea to consult an attorney on any contracts or documents you need to sign during this process. It is also a great time to discuss changes in your will, and update your estate and care planning.

5. Update your Address Information
This step is very important to ensure you do not lose contact with love ones or other personal contacts. It will be important to update your address with the following institutions:

  • Bank
  • Church
  • Credit Card Companies
  • Health Insurance Company
  • Auto & Home Insurance Companies
  • Life Insurance Companies
  • DMV
  • Post Office

You will also need to consider changing your address with any other institution you want to remain in contact with. By changing your address with the Post Office it will ensure your mail is forwarded to your new address. Any mail forwarded to your new address might need you to update your information with them as well.

These are a lot of things to consider when making the transition to assisted living. Make sure you meet with the facility manager, and other residence to gain more insight into your new community.