In our 11/16/21 blog, we discussed how to prepare for a move to an assisted living community. But what should you pack and what should you leave behind? After all, your loved one’s new residence will likely be smaller than their current home. While communities differ, many things will be provided.
Here are a few key items that your loved one will need:
Furniture. Once you’ve selected the community and the exact residence,make sure to request a floor plan and the exact dimensions. If an unfurnished apartment, choose multi-functional furniture that will fit. A loveseat and end tables with drawers, a small desk, and bookshelf allow you to create living spaces within a larger space. A small bistro table, a couple of chairs and a mini-fridge create a place to eat, share a drink or play dominos when guests visit. A bed, nightstands with storage and a small dresser or other storage drawers to fit inside a closet will create a sleeping and dressing space. Make sure your furniture arrangement allows plenty of room to walk without trip hazards and accommodates a walker.
Décor. It’s important to create a familiar environment for your loved one with special treasures on display and useful items within reach. Remember favorite linens, comforter and pillows, a soft sofa throw, lamps, favorite books, a mirror, pictures, potted plants and other cherished mementos.
Kitchenette. Even though assisted living communities offer three meals a day and often between-meal snacks, your loved one may still need a few small items to remain independent. Bring a small selection of dishes, glasses, utensils, dish towels, dish soap and some storage containers.
Clothing. Consider closet and storage space and prioritize packing casual and comfortable clothing which can be put on with little fuss that your loved one will wear every day. Select versatile, lightweight articles of clothing that can be layered and essentials, including tops and bottoms, a lightweight sweater or sweatshirt, a rain jacket, underwear and socks, pajamas, robe and slippers and comfortable shoes. For special occasions, pack a few more formal outfits and select costume jewelry that’s easy to slip on.
Entertainment and technology. Many assisted living communities, including The Medallion, offer lots of activities but your loved one will also need privacy to simply enjoy a favorite TV show or a good, large-letter. Supply easy-to-use technology to allow them stay in touch with you, family and friends between visits. A small television, computer or tablet, a mobile phone, radio, stationary, puzzles, playing cards and supplies for a favorite hobby can help bridge the gap between the familiar and the new surroundings and routine.
Finally, make sure to pack toiletries and personal items, such as toothbrush and toothpaste; favorite soap and shampoo, personal hygiene items; bath towels, washcloths, and hand towels; assistive devices such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, canes or walkers as well as a non-slip bathmat and a hamper for dirty clothes.
Items to put on your “leave behind” list include large, cumbersome furniture, duplicates or multiples of any items, and tripping hazards, such as area rugs. If in doubt, ask your community for a packing list or tips on what to bring, and a list of items that are not allowed such as candles and space heaters. Considering an assisted living community for your loved one? Contact us today for more information or schedule a visit.