8 Steps for Moving Into a New Senior Living Community
There is plenty of advice out there about choosing the right senior community. But once you’ve made your choice, how do you go about settling in? We’ve prepared a post-move-in checklist to help you get acquainted with your new home.
- Update your contact information
Make sure everyone who matters can still find you – share your new address with families, friends, and medical contacts. Your community may even have pre-made change-of-address post cards you can send. Complete a change-of-address form with the US Postal Service. Gather contact numbers for key staff who can help others find you in case of an emergency.
- Get to know the staff
Learn the names of the staff and determine if you share any hobbies or interests. They will become like new neighbors you’ll see every day.
- Make some friends
Experiment with sitting at different tables during meal time to find some new friends in your fellow residents. Your community may have a buddy system in place to encourage new friendships.
- Attend an event
Get a copy of the social calendar and attend an event that sounds interesting. Join any and all clubs that spark your interest at all – you’ll get to meet lots of people quickly and can slowly drop out of the groups you’re not so excited about over the next few months. The key is to get involved in as many arenas as possible and you will discover all kinds of new folks and interests.
- Introduce your family
Invite your family to come for events or join you for a meal if possible. Introduce them to staff and residents. Ask if your community will host a private luncheon to celebrate your new home, or if they may host a party for all the new residents that month – be sure to invite your closest friends, too!
- Take it easy
Everyone adjusts to a new environment differently. Be patient and give yourself time to adjust. Contact the staff if you need something – this is not the time to be shy about asking for assistance.
- Familiarize yourself with your new surroundings
Determine where the nearest pharmacy, grocery store, and bank are located. Get a copy of the transportation schedule. Discover new ways to get to know the broader community – find the senior center, local parks, and theaters and see what events they offer. Learn the community procedures for meal time, laundry, maintenance requests, quiet hours, smoking areas, billing, and using the call button.
- Spread the word!
Write a review on SeniorAdvisor.com – take a few minutes to share your experience and guidance for others who are now going through the same search you did. If you love your new community, tell others what makes it so special!
We hope you find these tips helpful. Do you have any other best practices for moving into a retirement community in Atlanta, Denver, or anywhere else? Let us know in the comments!