When moving a senior loved one into assisted living, it is important to know what to bring and what to let go of. While simplicity is key, it is equally essential to recreate the look and feel of home. Here are some practical tips to help you as you begin the process.
- Choose what your loved one uses daily- When making decision on items, it is important to remember it isn’t always the newest, best item your senior loved one prefers. Look for the items they use every day, and brings them all the comfort of home. Although it is tempting to buy new or set aside only the best furniture, older adults tend to thrive with the familiar and comfortable.
- Map out the new living area so you can visualize what furniture will fit. Stick with essentials first such as bed, dresser, and chair. The general rule of thumb is start with less and then you can always bring more later if necessary. There will need to be adequate space for wheelchairs and walkers to pass through so plan to keep walkways clear. Keep clutter to a minimal and focus on simplicity.
- Personal décor is a must. Don’t go overboard, but is important to make you loved one’s new space feel like home. Family photographs, photobooks, flowers, corkboards to pin up greeting cards, and favorite belongings all help recreate the look of home. Don’t forget to add seating for visitors.
- Remember to choose items that are functional and safe. You need to consider if your aging loved one will be able to get up from the furniture you choose with ease. Firmer chairs and sofas are best rather than cushy cushions you sink into. Watch for dressers and tables with very sharp edges, and avoid glass if you can. Choose lamps that can be turned on with ease (pulls vs twists) and nightlights that provide adequate light for nighttime restroom trips.
- Get creative with storage- choose furniture that maximizes your loved ones space. For example, choose an ottoman that has storage space inside for books and magazines or end tables with drawers to store essentials.
- Just say no to the following items.
- Rug- tripping hazards
- Furniture with wheels
- Knickknacks- if collectables hold special value to your loved one, choose their favorite from the collection and take a photo of the rest.
- Heavy and bulky furniture
- Expensive jewelry
- Boxes of stored items
- Clothing that will need dry cleaned
- Candles and scented plug-in air fresheners
- Electronics your loved one cannot operate independently
Caretaker Tip- Many Assisted Living Facilities, such as Grace Manor in Port Orange, provide diagrams of floor plans with specific dimensions on their website. This is a useful tool to help you and your senior loved one visualize the new space.
Stayed tuned to the County Health Care Guide Blog to learn more about assisted-living, senior care, senior placement, and important senior news in Volusia County. From Daytona to Port Orange to New Smyrna Beach, the County Health Care Guide is the only resource you need.