Moving into Senior Housing

A seamless transition


This is a general understanding of what seniors and their families need to learn as moving day nears. Moving from your home to the less familiar environment of a retirement community can create emotional stressors. There are certain details, such as housekeeping or medical accommodations that can be addressed before moving day to avoid unnecessary distress and create a fluid moving experience.


Trial stays are encouraged, as this is an ideal way to familiarize yourself with all aspects of senior living. However, if you are unable to do this, there are other ways to make moving a more manageable experience.

Final Visit to Retirement Facility


Before moving in, accompany your loved one to the retirement facility for a final visit. This is the perfect way to become familiar with the new community and make any necessary adjustments before moving. This provides the opportunity to engage with other residents and hear about their experiences living in the retirement community. This visit also provides the opportunity to meet the staff so they can be fully prepared for your transition and familiar with the new resident when that transition is in progress.

Another strategy to prepare is having a full understanding of the move-in process. Review the times you will be expected and learn the staff’s role during a move so you can be sure to take full advantage of their assistance. Also be sure to check with administration beforehand to be certain that any required paperwork is completed before moving.


Some retirement communities provide transition services to new residents. These staff members facilitate the process of moving and acclimating to the new residential setting. Consider finding out if your new retirement home has such a department and what services they provide. If you contact them before moving, they will often tell you what to prepare for and will offer a checklist for residents.


Some real estate agents make certain that clients will have everything they could want or need waiting for them when they first arrive to the retirement community. These agents have an entire support network of individuals full of helpful resources to assist in the moving process. Using a real estate agent specifically for seniors should be a consideration if you are searching for a way to make the moving process as smooth as possible.

Learn About Your Accommodations


When you make your final visit to the community, give the room the resident will be staying in a thorough examination. Examine the measurements of  the room for furniture placement and itemize the available appliances. This allows for proper packing—does your living space have a coffee maker? A toaster? A phone? If you know the answer to these questions, packing will be a much easier process.

How to Handle Resistance to Moving


It is normal to feel anxious about moving. Individuals moving into a retirement community may not like to acknowledge it or talk about it because it makes them uncomfortable. As a result of this emotional discomfort, you might find the individual you’re helping resisting the process and possibly resenting it. Families may also experience nervousness as they assist their loved one in this transition.


Fortunately, retirement communities are prepared for this and will provide you with the necessary resources and materials. It is important to be positive, patient and open-minded as you support your loved one through this important and beneficial step in their life.


This is a process and things may not go perfectly, but be assured that many seniors who make this decision soon realize that they should have made this choice earlier as they enjoy a life of greater ease and simplicity. They soon discover a friendly community and supportive staff that bring joy and comfort to their lives.

How to Prepare for Transitions Based on Level of Care

  • Transitioning to Assisted Care
  • Transitioning to Independent Care
  • How to Prepare for Assisted Care
  • How to Prepare for Independent Care