When picturing yourself or a loved one transitioning into assisted living, or making any major change, for that matter, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. New faces, places, and a mile-long to-do list: how will you get it all done? There’s a lot of truth, however, to the saying about tackling a huge task: “Just put one foot in front of the other.” When you know where to plant your feet at the beginning of the process, then take one small, smart step at a time, you’ll arrive at your destination with peace and confidence. Here’s how to get started with making your move.

Gather Your Documents 

You or your loved one will be required to present a number of documents as you sign paperwork before moving to assisted living. Now is the time to begin checking your files (or maybe piles) for what you need so you’re prepared. While communities may vary in their specific requirements, you will most likely need to provide the following:

  • Birth certificate
  • Driver’s license
  • Insurance card
  • Medicare or Medicaid card
  • Organ donor card
  • Social Security card
  • The legal power of attorney document
  • Advance directives
  • A living will
  • A healthy proxy document

In addition to these common documents, you may need access to marriage certificates, mortgage documents, credit card or loan statements, or military records. It is also a good idea to locate financial documents like recent tax returns, insurance policies, bank account statements, trust documents, real estate holdings documents, and statements for stocks and bonds. Finally, don’t forget the list of important contacts like insurance agents, bank representatives, advisers, clergy, and other people familiar with your or your loved one’s well-being and status.

Get Your Healthcare in Order

When it comes to making the transition to assisted living, you don’t want to play guessing games with your or your loved one’s health. Make an appointment for an updated evaluation and ensure that you choose a community that can meet your healthcare needs. Before making the move, update your primary care doctor of the changes, or if moving to a new area, find a new doctor. Finally, it is essential that all prescriptions and medications be updated, available, and easy to refill.  

Prepare for the Physical Move

If you require movers, ask for recommendations from people well in advance of your moving date. Read reviews, get estimates, and choose a company that is equipped to move any special items. Downsize and prioritize well before moving into what will most likely be a smaller space (you will regret it if you don’t), and remember, just like one foot in front of the other, take it one box at a time!  For detailed tips on how to make a room-by-room packing list, check out this helpful guide on Caring.com

Still not sure what and how much to bring and how to make it fit in your new home? Consider hiring a senior living moving specialist, who can help with planning, packing, unpacking, and staging your new space. 

Check Off Those Nitty-Gritty Details

In all the hubbub of moving, it’s easy to let some details slip through the cracks. Keep a checklist handy of those logistical details that are important in any move:

  • Set up mail forwarding with USPS.
  • Cancel utilities.
  • Inform people of your change of address: friends, companies, services, and government entities such as Social Security.
  • Coordinate calendars with loved ones in order to plan appointments, visits, and events.

Perhaps you’re not ready to begin the transition because you or your loved one hasn’t made a final decision. Is it the right time for assisted living? If so, what place will best meet your needs? What about financial details? Good Shepherd is here to help you make the very first step: starting the conversation. 

Reach out to Good Shepherd when you’re ready to begin the conversation about shifting into assisted living.

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