Moving To Independent Living Checklist

Moving To Independent Living Checklist

Moving into an independent living or assisted living community can be complex as it requires a lot of planning. Once you have selected a new home, there will be many questions about what to pack.

The best approach to begin the moving process is to remain calm and plan ahead to know what decision to take at the right time. Don't worry! We've got you covered with this article.

Read on, and we know you that you will be able to transition smoothly.


Independent Living Moving Checklist

When moving to an independent living facility, seniors should prioritize packing items that will provide comfort, familiarity, and support in their new environment. Here is a list of things to consider packing:

  1. Personal documents: Identification, insurance cards, medical records, legal documents (wills, power of attorney), and emergency contact information.
  2. Medications: Prescription and over-the-counter medications, along with a list of dosages and schedules.
  3. Mobility aids: Walkers, canes, wheelchairs, or other devices that provide assistance with mobility.
  4. Daily living aids: Hearing aids, glasses, denture supplies, and any other items needed for daily activities.
  5. Comfortable clothing and footwear: Ensure there's enough for various activities and weather conditions.
  6. Personal care items: Toiletries, grooming supplies, and hygiene products.
  7. Bedding and towels: Familiar bedding, pillows, and towels can provide comfort and a sense of home.
  8. Favorite possessions: Photos, mementos, and other items that hold sentimental value.
  9. Electronics: Phone, charger, tablet, laptop, or any other devices regularly used.
  10. Small furniture: A favorite chair or side table that can fit in the new living space.
  11. Kitchen essentials: A few favorite dishes, utensils, and small appliances if the facility allows.
  12. Entertainment items: Books, puzzles, craft supplies, or other hobbies that the senior enjoys.
  13. Personal safety items: Medical alert devices, emergency call buttons, or personal alarms.
  14. Calendar and planner: To help keep track of appointments, activities, and events.
  15. Snacks and non-perishable food: Some favorite snacks and foods for those times when a little extra comfort is needed.

Keep in mind that storage space may be limited, and some facilities may have specific rules about what can be brought in. Always check with the facility for their guidelines and restrictions before packing.


Planning for Healthcare Needs

You need to plan for the healthcare needs in advance to ensure continuity in these essential services after the moving process. Here are some key areas to consider for this planning. 

Setting Up an Appointment with Your Existing Doctor

You should visit your existing doctor to get a complete checkup and up-to-date medical records after initiating the process of moving into your assisted living community. You might need to complete some paperwork signed by your doctor which your new community might require. 

Finding A New Doctor

Finding a new doctor for your medical needs is crucial if your assisted living is far from your current location. Your existing doctor can help in recommending a good professional in your new area.

Moreover, online resources such as this tool from is excellent for finding a suitable doctor for your medical needs. 

Collection of Medications

Once you have completed the paperwork through your existing doctor, you will have the prescription information with details related to the required medication. Your new community might accept bottled medication, or you might have to go through the community's pharmacy for the required medication. The nursing staff will take care of all the medication requirements by opting for medication management. 

Planning of Other Medical Needs

If there are any specific medical needs you should plan in advance, then it is appropriate to arrange them before the moving process, such as dentists and eye specialists. 

seniors talking to healthcare workers 

Logistical Items

When planning a move to an assisted living community, it is crucial to pay attention to detail. Here are some of the top logistical items you need to take care of before your moving day arrives to ensure a smooth procedure. 

Cancellation of Utility Services for Current Residence

Before moving into a senior living community, you must cancel the current residence's utility services to avoid incurring future bills. Registering for the utility services for your chosen retirement community beforehand is crucial so that all the utilities are available once you move to the new residence. 

Setting Up Mail Forwarding

An essential logistical aspect is to set up mail forwarding to your new address through USPS’s postal services. Most senior living communities can collect mail on your behalf before you move into your chosen residence so that nothing important is left behind during the transition from your current location to the new address. 

Informing All Necessary Parties

An essential part of the moving procedure is to update all the concerned parties about your address in a new senior living community. Some of the main parties to consider in this process are insurance companies, financial service providers, lawyers, healthcare services, and Social Security Administration. Once you have informed all the necessary parties, all communication and mail will be delivered to your new address without any inconvenience. 

Community Contact Information

Adding community contact information, such as important phone numbers, including wellness staff, nursing providers, and maintenance team, is an excellent idea so that you can get support whenever needed. You can add important dates to your calendar to keep track of them. These include housekeeping, social activities, laundry days, and wellness class schedules. All necessary contact information should be added to your devices so that you know who and when to call for the required services. 

Planning of End of Life Details

Although you might not want to think about this, it is crucial to plan the end-of-life details and complete the necessary procedures. Details include the power of attorney designation, estate planning, will, and documentation from your doctor. A copy of the necessary documentation should be provided to your community so they can act accordingly. It is better to inform your family members about the necessary documentation beforehand.


Finding the Right Moving Company

Choosing a suitable moving company is key to shifting to an assisted living community. Here are some aspects you should prioritize when looking for a suitable company to assist you in shifting. 

Company Recommendations

When opting for a moving company, it is a great idea to ask for company recommendations from your assisted living community to connect with the best service providers who will enable you to shift into independent living without any hassle. 

Licensing and Insurance

One essential aspect is to check if your chosen moving company is properly licensed and insured. The licensing and insurance should be for the current state and the state you plan to go to to avoid any inconvenience during the moving procedure. It also ensures that your belongings are safe and will cover any losses or damages during the shifting. 

Online Reviews

One of the ideal ways to know about the capability of a moving company is to read online reviews, which enable you to know about the experience of its previous clients, which can simplify the decision-making process. You should read multiple reviews for a holistic view of choosing a suitable moving company according to your requirements. 

Cost Estimates

An essential part of the moving plan is understanding different moving companies' contracts and getting cost estimates. It can help you identify the service that offers the best value for money and lets you plan the budget for your assisted living move. 

Suitability for Moving Heavy Items

In addition, some items need special expertise in moving, including hospital beds, furniture, or any essential belongings you need to take along. Thus, you need to opt for a moving company specializing in shifting heavy items so they can reach the new place without any inconvenience. 

Companies that offer moving services for heavy items have the appropriate arrangements. These arrangements include huge trucks, professional labor, and suitable equipment to ensure your items are not damaged.

 senior knitting

Home Furnishings

When planning your assisted living move, planning the home furnishings to use the available space is important. This largely depends on if your independent living community is furnished or not. Mobility in the new residence can be a challenge for seniors. Due to unfamiliar floor plans, you should avoid running cords and decorative items that could cause accidental falls.

In addition, you should focus on functional items rather than just decorative pieces that consume space without a specific purpose. For senior individuals, a power recliner can be an excellent piece of furniture that supports a relaxed sitting position. Remember, it always helps if your family members are familiar with the new space beforehand.


What Not to Pack

When moving to an independent living facility, seniors should avoid packing items that may be unnecessary, hazardous, or prohibited by the facility. Here is a list of things that should not be packed:

  1. Large furniture: Most facilities provide basic furniture, and space may be limited, so avoid bringing large or heavy items.
  2. Duplicates: Avoid packing duplicate items, such as additional bedding or kitchenware, which the facility may already provide.
  3. High-maintenance plants: Large or high-maintenance plants can be difficult to care for and may not be allowed in some facilities.
  4. Prohibited appliances: Some facilities have restrictions on certain appliances, such as space heaters, hot plates, or cooking equipment, due to safety concerns.
  5. Hazardous materials: Avoid bringing chemicals, flammable materials, or other items that could pose a safety risk.
  6. Valuables: It's best not to bring valuable items that could be lost or stolen, such as expensive jewelry or irreplaceable heirlooms.
  7. Excessive clutter: Keep the living space tidy and organized by minimizing the number of decorative items and knick-knacks.
  8. Firearms or weapons: Most facilities prohibit firearms and weapons for the safety and security of all residents.
  9. Expired medications: Dispose of expired or unused medications properly and only bring current medications.
  10. Perishable foods: Due to limited storage and potential spoilage, avoid packing perishable food items.
  11. High-maintenance pets: Some facilities may have restrictions on pet ownership or may not be able to accommodate certain types of pets.
  12. Large collections: Avoid bringing large collections, such as books or figurines, due to space limitations and potential clutter.
  13. Oversized entertainment systems: Most facilities provide common areas with televisions and other entertainment options, so avoid bringing large, cumbersome entertainment systems.
  14. Tools and equipment: Leave large tools, lawn equipment, or other maintenance items behind, as facility staff usually handle these tasks.
  15. Candles and incense: Open flames can pose a fire risk, so avoid bringing candles, incense, or other similar items.

Always consult the facility's guidelines and restrictions before packing to ensure a smooth transition to the independent living facility.


Final Thoughts

This guide helps in understanding the steps required for the moving process and aligns all the requirements to ensure a smooth transition. If you have any questions, the ideal approach would be to contact the representatives at your intended assisted living community.

If you are interested in checking our Danbury, we highly recommend scheduling a tour.

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