You’ve done your research, toured communities and come to a decision – you’re moving to a Life Care Community. Congratulations! You’ve got a wonderful journey ahead of you. Now comes the really difficult part: actually making the move.
“Let’s face it – the process of moving can be stressful, no matter how excited you are to begin this new chapter of life,” says Kevin DeAcosta, President and CEO of The Highlands at Wyomissing, the only nonprofit Life Care Community in Berks County, PA. This is especially true if you haven’t moved in years – maybe even decades.
“The best thing to do is tackle it like you would eating an elephant: one bite at a time,” Kevin says. “Focus on one step at a time and you’ll find that the process becomes much more manageable. One thing you can do is connect with your chosen Life Care Community to see what sort of opportunities might be available to help you navigate this transition.”
For example, The Highlands offers a “Manage Your Move” service that partners future residents with Senior Move Managers® who can help handle the process from A to Z.
“Our Senior Move Manager partners help seniors downsize and sort their belongings, schedule the physical move and even organize their new home in the community,” Kevin explains. “It allows our new residents to enjoy a seamless moving experience and start enjoying their retirement right away.”
Some of the services that Senior Move Managers® provide include:
● Free consultation to develop a plan for your move
● Floor plan design
● Downsizing and sorting assistance
● Professional packing and unpacking using quality supplies
● Scheduling and directing movers
● Arranging all furniture on move-in day
● Organizing the kitchen and bathrooms
● Making your bed on move-in day
“We want our residents to love life at our community, and that begins before they become an official resident,” Kevin says. “By providing services to make the transition from home to community as smooth as possible, we’re able to help residents start life here on the right foot, which forms a strong foundation for this new chapter of life.”
Checklist for Moving to Life Care
Whether you choose to enlist the help of an expert or prefer to DIY your move, there are still plenty of things to take care of in order to help you start your new life as carefree as possible.
Make a schedule.
Having a timeline – even if it changes slightly from time to time – will help you move forward with your end goal in sight. Before starting anything, sit down and plot out exactly what needs to happen. Start with the broad strokes, and then once you have those nailed down, start fleshing out the details. At the same time, make a list of people and professional services you can enlist to help you out. You definitely don’t want to go at this completely alone.
Visit the community.
If you have time and it works into your schedule, consider spending some time at the community to have a meal or attend an event. This gives you the chance to learn about what’s offered there as well as start making new friends. That way, once you make the actual move, you’ll have people you already know and can make plans with.
Downsize and declutter.
If you’re moving into a Life Care Community, you’re probably also planning on selling your current home. In order to get your house ready for market, real estate agents suggest decluttering and depersonalizing your home while also getting rid of any items you no longer need. This will help “air out” your space so buyers can more easily see themselves within the walls. Most Life-Care-Community living options will be smaller than your current home, so this is a golden opportunity to get rid of all the personal items that you no longer want or need. Go through each room in your house and make a keep, donate and throwaway pile. As you’re doing that, you can also be packing up any items you want to keep but don’t necessarily require every day.
Map out your new space.
As you’re downsizing and decluttering, you want to be sure that whatever items you keep will work with your new living space. Get the measurements of your new home and determine what items will go where. This is particularly important if you have must-have items that are large – you’ll need to make sure you have space for them. There are plenty of online resources available to help you create a virtual floor plan, or you can go old-school and use graph paper and a pencil. Take note of what works, plan for things you’ll need to purchase (like a new, smaller sofa or furniture that doubles as a storage unit) and finalize your plan so that you and movers will be able to set up your new house quickly and easily.
Coordinate the actual move.
Are you going to move into the new community before you sell your home or after? What day do you want to move into your new home? How are you getting your things there – will you hire a moving company, or will friends and family be able to help? The actual moving day can be hectic and tiring, which is why you might want to consider working with a Senior Move Coordinator to take a large amount of stress off your shoulders.
Take a few days to rest (or not).
You know your tolerance best, so think about what will help you best settle in the first few days after you move to Life Care. If you’re an extrovert, you may be ready to hit the ground running, waking up for an early exercise class and making friends left and right. Or, you may want to take it easy, giving yourself a chance to acclimate to your new space and resting from all the excitement. Whatever you decide, listen to yourself and know your limits. You have a whole lifetime to explore the community!
Then, get out and live your life.
Once you’ve rested, it’s time to start enjoying everything your community has to offer. The best way to get acclimated and create a routine is by trying new things. Pick out a class that sounds interesting or strike up a conversation with someone in the library. You’ll find that pretty much everyone will be excited to meet you and make connections. Sooner than you think, you’ll find yourself feeling “at home,” which is truly a wonderful thing.
Your Remarkable Future Awaits.
The Highlands at Wyomissing opened its doors in April of 1989 with apartments for those who needed a helping hand with daily activities. Since then, we have grown into a large community of homes and apartments, amenities and services, and so much more.
With over 113 acres of gently rolling hills, lush walkways and towering trees, The Highlands at Wyomissing has offered stunning amenities, engaging activities and endless opportunities for more than 30 years. Located just outside of Reading, Pennsylvania, we’re proud to be the only nonprofit Life Care Community in Berks County, where residents are free to live their active, independent lifestyles with a continuum of care available right at home if they ever need it.
When you choose The Highlands at Wyomissing, you’re free to create a retirement that mirrors what you’ve always wanted for your future. What are you waiting for? Get a taste of what life is like on our vibrant campus at The Highlands at Wyomissing by contacting us at 610.370.6668 for more information.