Over a million seniors live in assisted living facilities throughout the United States.
But moving your loved one to an assisted living facility can be difficult—for everyone involved. Packing might be the last thing on your mind.
Why we’ve put together this moving to assisted living checklist to help you through the process.
So let’s get started.
Tour and Talk to the Community
Before you start packing, make sure you visit the assisted living community. This will get you familiar with how much space your loved one will have after they move.
You should also talk to someone in charge at the community. Ask for the exact dimensions of the living area and if there are any items they don’t allow in the facility. (Some assisted living communities don’t want anyone to bring expensive jewelry collections.)
Getting this information will give you an idea of how much you can pack and what to leave behind.
Start Packing Early
The earlier you can start the packing process, the better.
Your loved one will most likely have to downsize, and getting rid of their things can be difficult for them. Start at least a month in advance so they have time to sort through everything. If you can, start even earlier than that.
Start with a small space, like a closet, to help ease them into the process. Keep track of the items you’ll donate, throw out, sell, and take during the move.
Assisted Living Packing Checklist
No matter how much time you spend planning or prepping, moving is still overwhelming. This is especially true if you’re trying to juggle taking care of a senior who can’t get by on their own anymore.
We’ve put together this assisted living checklist so you don’t forget anything important.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what you’ll need from each room.
You’ll need to bring all the basic bedroom furniture. This includes the following items:
- A bed
- A nightstand (or two)
- A dresser
Most assisted living facilities don’t have a lot of storage space, so it might be worth bringing two dressers. You can put one in the closet for extra storage.
You should also pack all the necessary bedding, such as pillows, sheets, comforters, and other blankets. Make sure you have at least two full sets so your loved one will have something to use while they’re doing laundry.
Don’t overlook clothing.
Pack comfortable, around-the-house clothes, formal wear for special occasions, PJs, seasonal clothes, a bathing suit (optional), and plenty of socks and undergarments. Your loved one should also have at least one pair of shoes and a pair of comfy slippers.
Some assisted living communities provide basic kitchen appliances. If they don’t you’ll need to bring everything yourself.
Keep the furniture small. Remember, your loved one probably won’t have a lot of space.
Make sure you stock the kitchen with these items:
- Small table and chairs
- Fridge or mini-fridge (depending on the space)
- Dishes (plates, bowls, cups, silverware, Tupperware, etc.)
- Pots, pans, and cookie sheets
- Kettle or coffee maker (or both)
- Trash can
- Dish soap
- Hand towels
You should also make sure your loved one has plenty of food when they move in. But it might be easier to make a shopping trip after the move.
You want to make this space as comfortable and as homey for your loved one as possible. If you can, use the same furniture they had at home (you might have to buy something smaller).
Make sure you have these things when you move:
- Couch(es), chair(es), rocker, etc.
- Pictures and other decor
- Coffee table (or end tables)
If your loved one uses a computer, you might want to put this in the living room as well.
Pack plenty of bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths, and make sure you have all the toiletries your loved one needs, such as:
- Toothpaste and a toothbrush
- Toilet paper
- Shampoo, conditioner, and soap
- Makeup items
- Other health items
- Trash can
Don’t forget any medication your loved one takes.
Your loved one might not have a traditional laundry room in their assisted living home, but you should still bring laundry detergent and general rags for dusting or cleaning up spills. Make sure you also have supplies to clean the bathroom and other living areas.
Gather all your loved one’s important documents and make sure they go in a secure and organized spot. This will help you find the necessary financial, legal, or medical information when you need it.
Make sure you bring entertainment for your loved one. Bring supplies for any hobbies, such as knitting, painting, scrapbooking, cooking, etc. You should also pack things like games, a deck of cards, books, magazines, and more.
Things You Shouldn’t Pack
There are a few things you should leave behind during your loved one’s move. These items will just take up space, and some of them are safety hazards.
Here are a few things you shouldn’t pack:
- Area rugs (tripping hazard)
- Office chairs (or other furniture on wheels)
- Large, bulky items
- Repeat items (they will just take up space you don’t have)
- Items your loved one never (or hardly) uses
- Random, personal items
Remember, you won’t have a lot of space. If your loved one has a lot of collectibles, it’s a good idea to only take the most important items.
Your Complete Moving to Assisted Living Checklist
If you follow this moving to assisted living checklist, your loved one should have everything they need in their new home.
Still looking for the right assisted living community for your loved one?
We can help! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for more information!