Each chapter of life brings new challenges. Moving from a home and into a retirement community will be one of the biggest challenges that a senior and their loved ones will face. Yet, this chapter of life can be rewarding when the daunting transition to senior living is made as simple as possible.
When seniors move in to a retirement community, it’s a big deal for them, their families and the staff at their new residence. Handling this transition skillfully is an art that goes a long way to help create a vibrant community and strong relationships. Proper planning and communication with future residents to facilitate their move-in experience sets the stage for them to thrive in their new homes.
Prior to Move-in
Initializing communication early on with future residents, as well as their loved ones, will greatly ease the transition to senior living. Using numerous methods of communication prior to move-in via newsletters, meetings and social events establishes a trusted support network and answers questions. Recommend resources like realtors, downsizers and movers, and consider hosting a resource fair with more information so they can plan their move and all it entails as early as possible.
Schedule walk-throughs and tours with future residents and their families. These tours give seniors a chance to see their future homes, ask questions and address any concerns prior to move-in. Ensure that the facility looks as welcoming as possible during these events, so future residents look forward to the transition to senior living.
Take time to plan with future residents so they know their move-in date and time well in advance. Prior planning is as important for you as it is for your future residents, as it allows your staff ample time to prepare for a new resident.
The big day arrives, provoking a whirlwind of conflicting emotions for seniors and their families. Immediately upon move-in, create a sense of home for residents through personal touches like gift baskets and a note from the staff. Seemingly minimal gestures like offering them cookies or wine can make all the difference. These personal touches will ensure new residents feel welcome the moment they step through the door.
Avoid overwhelming new residents on move-in day, as the transition from their lifelong home is a daunting experience on its own. As best as you can, allow them to focus their attention on moving in. Assign only one or two staff members to check-in with residents to ensure everything is going smoothly.
Help your new residents establish a sense of community right away. Seniors moving out of their lifelong homes into a retirement community are susceptible to depression and loneliness. Combat these feelings from the get-go by encouraging residents to interact with each other through social activities like dinners, happy hours and scheduled events. Whether you have a welcome committee or not, provide current residents with clear guidelines so they know how to best support their new neighbors.
The transition to senior living community doesn’t have to be a daunting experience for seniors. Talk with your team about creating an appropriate move-in strategy to help your new residents feel at ease, and feel free to reach out to us for ideas as well. We love having the chance to make your community feel like a home.