Dad has decided that it’s time for him to move into an assisted living community. You’re happy that he’ll have people around to make sure he’s healthy, well provided for, and socially stimulated.
Your family can help dad plan and execute his move with as little stress and turmoil as possible. Unless he lacks the capacity to make reasonable decisions because of some cognitive deficit, experts say that his choices should be respected.
This is probably the single best gift you and all family members can offer during what is almost always an emotional process. It’s his life undergoing a major change, not yours or your sisters or brothers, so keep dad involved, make his concerns your priority and give him space and time to make decisions about the move.
Hold a family discussion.
[efsicon type="fi-check"] Pick a target move-out date with dad and develop a plan to be ready by then.
[efsicon type="fi-check"] Talk about who can do what and on what schedule. For example, can your brother fly out on a certain weekend to help clean out the garage?
[efsicon type="fi-check"] Review what special items each family member might want (obviously, after dad OKs giving them away).
[efsicon type="fi-check"] Don’t worry if dad wants to take his well-worn chair or table to his new home. It likely has sentimental value that means more to him than a brand new piece of furniture.
Plan and pack carefully.
[efsicon type="fi-check"] Don’t rush this process. In fact, three to four months is completely reasonable.
[efsicon type="fi-check"] Give dad time to sort through his personal letters, valentine’s cards, photos and other special keepsakes. If he’s attached to his auto and household maintenance tools, give him space and time to go through his toolbox.
Help with space planning.
[efsicon type="fi-check"] Know the square footage and storage capacity of dad’s new assisted living residence and plan accordingly. It’s likely to be much smaller than his home, so lots of items won’t fit.
[efsicon type="fi-check"] Get a printed floor plan with wall measurements and figure out where dad’s favorite recliner could go and whether his dining room table will fit.
[efsicon type="fi-check"] Look at the storage in his new home and find out if there are common storage areas in the assisted living community that could be utilized as well.
[efsicon type="fi-check"] If it becomes too difficult to make decisions about keeping, donating or tossing items, then go ahead and move and purge items later when dad is settled in.
Don’t rush into selling the family home.
[efsicon type="fi-check"] To repeat, this is dad’s move so give him the lead in selecting a realtor and setting a sales price.
[efsicon type="fi-check"] Consider the services of a professional home stager, who can help put the home’s best features on display and help dad to understand that getting rid of clutter will speed the sale process.
Don’t forget the mail, newspaper and utilities
[efsicon type="fi-check"] Talk to dad as moving day approaches and make sure he’s contacted the key utilities to have services transferred or turned off: telephone, cable TV, electricity, water, gas, etc.
[efsicon type="fi-check"] Make sure mail will be forwarded and any newspaper or magazine subscriptions are notified or cancelled.
To summarize, work as a team to help dad through what will likely be an emotional process for him, while respecting his wishes as much as possible. What tips do you have for making this move smoother and easier for your loved one?
Looking for personalized assisted living in Tennessee, Florida, or Georgia?
Assisted living and independent living doesn't have to lose the charm of the south. Learn more about our assisted living and independent living options in Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia. Do you have questions, or need advice on where to start? Contact us today!