Preparing for a New Life at an Assisted Living Community

Posted by Kia Crawford on May 20th, 2016 in Interior Design | No Comments

When you or a loved one decides it’s time to move into an assisted living community, there are many factors you may have to consider. What will happen to the house? Will you be able to bring pets with you? Should you look into memory care, or are you able to live independently? How will assisted living care be paid for? All of these are important questions to consider. However, there is one that many people don’t think about: What will happen to all the furniture and other possessions that fill your home?

Downsizing is one of the biggest issues our residents face when they first move in. As spacious as our apartments are, they simply aren’t big enough to hold as much as a house can. Here are a few tips on moving to an assisted living center from our Downsizing Design Consultant, Bonnie Deriso.

Move When You Are Ready

Your loved ones may be the first ones to bring up the option of assisted living. They may notice things like unfinished chores or forgetting to take medicine that older individuals may not. But for those getting older, no one knows you, better than you. No one knows what kind of assistance you may need — or not need — better than you do.

You will know when the time is right. You’ll be sick of raking the endless leaves in the yard, or maybe cleaning the pool just doesn’t seem worth it. For many, just maintaining the home in general becomes an unwanted hassle, especially if you live on your own. You’ll notice you’re just kind of worn out with it. No one will know that better than you.

Take Your Time

Just a couple decades ago, the idea of an assisted living conjured up thoughts of “nursing homes”,  a shutterstock_45007222hospital-like facility where older people would just lay in beds or roll around in wheelchairs until their time came. Now, assisted living communities offer top-shelf comforts and are made to feel more like a big house that everyone shares. With these advancements came more and more communities opening all over the country. Now, there are many different options to choose from, based on your needs.

Bonnie suggests taking three major things into consideration: location, price and amenities. It’s up to you to decide what is most important. Do you have family that you want to stay close to? Are you willing to pay extra for more luxuries? In addition, how are the staff and the center as a whole? Though they give off the appearance of a community home, assisted living communities should still offer state-of-the-art medical care and other services. If it doesn’t, it may not be worth considering.

Figure Out What to Bring

Once you’ve figured out where to go, the hard part begins: deciding what to bring. While you want to make sure you bring furniture and other necessities from home, you don’t want a barren, memory-less room. Be sure to bring photos of family and friends, in addition to any artwork you find dear to your heart. With the right setup, you can have lots of room for all of your favorite knick-knacks to make your apartment feel like home.

However, some things may be better to leave with loved ones or sell. Many of our residents buy new furniture that will fit better in their apartment. Adaptable furniture, like futons, are also a good option. Your family and a downsizing consultant like Bonnie can help you figure out what would be best for your situation. At the end of the day, it comes down to a fine balance of comfortable necessities and sentimental pieces. Live comfortably with the things you love and cherish all around you.

It May Take Time to Adjust — And That’s Okay

When you have lived in the same home for many years or even decades, moving to a smaller apartment may be somewhat of a shock. This is especially true for those who may have lived on their own for a while. Naturally outgoing people tend to have an easier time, as they are naturally better at adapting to new environments. Those who are more reserved may spend more time secluded in their rooms. However, Bonnie encourages new residents to get out and spend time with the community, as spending lots of time alone can impact mood and behavior.

It’s important to remember that, though you may be a little further from family, you still have a community to be a part of. Members of assisted living communities quickly become as family, relying on and connecting with each other. Even more, a team of caretakers is there to make sure you are always provided for. Though it may seem stressful at first, moving into an assisted living community can be one of the best ways to relax during your golden years.

At Dogwood Forest, we know moving into an assisted living center can be daunting. We want to help you out every step of the way. For more information about our different communities around the Atlanta area and how we can help you, contact us today.
About Bonnie Deriso: Bonnie started her company, SweetSpot Spaces, 11 years ago after her mother-in-law needed help moving to a smaller space. Since then, she has been helping both individuals and businesses effectively downsize to a new location, helping them decorate and maximize the space. You can learn more about Bonnie and her company at