It doesn’t matter if you have a studio apartment, or a modest three-bedroom, one-bath bi-level, or a sprawling seven-bedroom, five-bath farmhouse: most people fill their living space with stuff they don’t need or use. Consequently, when it’s time for a move to assisted living, this reality can become quite an obstacle, as families are forced to condense decades of significant and meaningless items alike into a one-bedroom apartment or smaller.
Whether the senior living community provides furniture or encourages residents to bring their own, remember that this is your loved one’s new home. You’ll need to do some decorating, so packing only the bare essentials won’t cut it. Transporting your mother’s large, heavy bookshelf may not be practical, but if it’s one of her most treasured pieces, you should make every effort to fit in in her new space.
Consider these additional — though space-conscious — items for creating the feeling of home in assisted living:
- Artwork and framed photographs: Personalize and brighten the apartment with your Dad’s favorites.
- For the kids: If your Mom anticipates young visitors, set aside a box or drawer of toys and games devoted to the grandchildren.
- Finishing touches: A wreath or welcome mat helps distinguish an apartment’s entrance in a long hallway of identical doors. These decorations also foster a warm, homelike feel rather than an institutional one.
For an extensive how-to on making a senior living move, consult SeniorsforLiving.com’s Transition Resource Guide.