You’ve decided The Kensington Redondo Beach is the perfect next step in your senior living life plan. It’s new, located just steps from the beach, and beautifully designed to maximize comfort, freedom, and safety for our residents.
But before you start packing, there’s an important step to take: right-sizing for the move.
Margaret Manning, founder of Sixty and Me, a community of 50,000 women over 60, suggests retirees planning a move “downsize” to 200 items. What’s intriguing about this idea is perception: one person’s downsized possessions might feel like there’s nothing left; to another, what remains could fill a castle.
Whether “200” sounds like downscaling or a profusion of possibilities, releasing some familiar objects your longtime home is an essential first step in any move-in checklist.
Freeing Up Space for the New
Manning’s recommendation is a good exercise in detachment, and a wonderful way to free up space, both physical and psychological, for your new life in assisted living.
Rightsizing can even be a group process, or something a single individual does with a friend: select a number, whether it’s 200 or a more manageable figure for you, pare possessions down to this level, and enjoy the freedom this simplicity affords you.
It’s akin to spring-cleaning your wardrobe, on a grander scale. Manning offers a step-by-step method for rightsizing, along with some sage cyber advice: instead of moving boxes of paper keepsakes, such as children’s art or scrapbooks, scan them all and create multiple backup files in the cloud. Your grandkids keep everything on their smartphones and social media pages; now you can join them.
Aside from clothing and toiletries, you might want to bring items that will add a touch of hominess to your assisted living residence, such as:
- End tables
- Picture frames
Rightsizing for retirement also means getting your finances in order, along with possessions and perspective for the next life phase. Knowing what resources are available to meet your upcoming needs and goals will give you a greater sense of security.
Steps to Take As the Move Gets Closer
Most people want to line up certain essential services before they move, or right after they move. These typically include:
- Hair stylist (for women, especially)
- Mechanic (if the senior still drives and has their own car)
One month out
Physicians top the list, particularly if a senior has any ongoing health conditions that must be closely monitored. The Kensington Redondo Beach provides an on-site physician’s office, as well as a full-time registered nurse (RN) who coordinates comprehensive nursing and medical care for each resident. Our licensed nurses provide medication administration around the clock.
However, if you would like a personal physician as well, gather recommendations from your current doctor and/or health insurance provider, and begin to make appointments to meet them about four weeks prior to the move.
3 weeks out
- Change your mailing address. This can be handled online with the U.S. Postal Service.
- Update your address for Social Security and Medicare benefits. Again, you can do this online.
- Notify credit card companies, banks, insurance companies, tax bureaus and pharmacies of your new address.
- Cancel or provide the forwarding address for magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
- Order checks with your new address.
2 weeks out
- Ask your current doctor’s office to forward your medical records to your new physician. In many cases, this can be handled electronically.
- Fill all prescriptions for at least a month ahead, so this will be taken care of as you settle into your new home.
- Locate a local pharmacist (The Kensington can help handle this for you.)
One week before the move
If you haven’t already done so, schedule a meeting with Kelly Hoang, our Move In Coordinator here at The Kensington Redondo Beach. Kelly is expert at transitioning residents gently, patiently, and thoroughly into their new assisted living home, coordinating every detail to make the process as efficient and effortless as possible.
After the move, she remains your liaison and guide, available to answer any questions and offer reassurance that the move was a good decision, and that some settling in time is normal and to be expected.
After the Move
Help your elder loved one get used to their new home. Moving is a long, arduous process, and a major upheaval for a senior who may be leaving a beloved home of up to half a century.
- Encourage your loved one to take time to settle in. For the first few weeks after the move, it’s important for the senior to allow themselves an adjustment period. Relocation grief is real. Even in the best of situations, in which your loved one willingly chose the move to assisted living, they may feel vulnerable and sad.
- Personalize the space. If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, the moving process can be particularly challenging. The goal should be to make the new living space as much like their previous home as possible to reduce stress and confusion.
Use photos to help you recreate living spaces like the old home. When unpacking, prioritize the bedroom. Help your loved one decorate as they see fit, especially if they brought that treasured painting from their old home to their new assisted living home. This will go a long way towards making the space feel welcoming and “theirs”.
- Be your loved one’s advocate. If the senior has concerns after an adjustment period, discuss what steps you can take together to resolve the issue. It might simply be a matter of asking a staff member a few questions, which your loved one may be reluctant to do as a new resident.
Remember: we’re here to make your experience at The Kensington Redondo Beach as warm and welcoming as possible! Our pledge is to love and care for your family like our own. Please let us know what you need, and we will make sure you’re as comfortable and content as possible.
We look forward to welcoming you home to The Kensington soon.