It may be true that 90% of seniors express the desire to age in place but that doesn't make that the safest option. Independent living facilities are often the best alternative for active seniors who are looking for safe, fun places to live.
They do, however, require some adjusting. Independent living facility accommodations are almost always smaller than single-family homes and may not have all of the same living spaces you're used to.
Today, we're going to talk about how to downsize when moving into a senior living community. We have plenty of helpful tips, tricks, and information that will make your transition easier to tackle.
Read on for our best tips for downsizing when moving into a senior living facility.
Start With Some Research Into Your Senior Living Facility
Before you start going through your personal belongings, it can help to get a sense of what your new home will look like. Start by researching your independent living facility. Let's take a look at some of the questions you can seek to answer while researching.
Look at Floor Plans
While pictures can give you a sense of the environment to expect, floor plans are useful in assessing space. How many rooms will you have to fill? What is the layout of the living room and master bedroom? What are the measurements and how do they compare to the furniture you have now?
Ask About Shared Accommodations
One major difference between a single-family home and an independent living facility is that you'll share some accommodations with other residents. For example, your unit may not come equipped with a kitchen or dining room because meals are served in a communal dining room. This gives you an enormous opportunity to downsize, as you won't need any of the furniture or supplies you keep in both of those spaces.
Learn About Community Guidelines
Another thing that can help you decide what to take or leave is your new community guidelines. For example, can you mount a TV on the wall or will you need a TV stand? Can you hang as many pictures or works of art as you desire or are there limitations?
Tips on How to Downsize When Moving Into a Senior Living Community
Once you have a more practical sense of your new space, it's time to start taking a hard look at your current belongings. We have a few handy tips that can serve as a frame of reference as you decide what to keep, what to get rid of, and what to give to family members.
Assess Your Current Favorite Features
What is your favorite place in your home? For many people, this is the living room. Take stock of all of the features in your favorite spaces and prioritize finding ways to incorporate them into your new home.
Practice the One-Year Rule
One way to start paring down your belongings is to practice what we call the "one-year rule." The one-year rule goes as follows: if you haven't used or enjoyed something in the past year, you can get rid of it without too much thought. This can apply to everything from furniture to clothing to dishes and cookware.
Choose Keepsakes Over Clutter
When you've lived in the same place for several years, you've likely accumulated quite a few pieces of decor, collectibles, and other trinkets. When you're deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, think about the sentimental value your belongings hold. We always recommend hanging on to those little items that hold a deeper meaning and letting go of the decorative or aesthetic items that don't.
Keep Valuables in the Family
Chances are, you'll encounter at least a few items or pieces of furniture that aren't practical to take but that you don't want to part with. For example, you may own a bureau that belonged to your mother or a series of photo albums from over the years. If you don't have the space for something that is near and dear, ask your family members if they'll incorporate those pieces into their own homes.
Safety is paramount in any living space and safety considerations for seniors may look a little different. Trip hazards are one of the biggest things to look out for when downsizing to move into a senior living facility. Rugs, ottomans, low chairs, and tables with sharp edges are all examples of potential hazards you can eliminate from your new living space.
Keep Your Artwork
What's one of the best ways to make a new home feel reminiscent of the one you've moved out of? Hang familiar and beloved artwork on the walls or prop your favorite pieces on shelves. Your artwork is a reflection of your taste and sensibilities and can add a sense of warmth to any space.
Don't Get Rid of Everything
When faced with the task of downsizing, some people feel the instinct to throw everything out. However, it's always nice to have at least a few familiar staples around your new space. Even if you only hang on to your favorite chair, make sure to bring something comforting to your new senior living facility.
Transition to Safe Independent Living With Friends Fellowship Community
Independent living is the perfect balance between aging in a comfortable and familiar environment and prioritizing safety. We hope that our guide on how to downsize when moving into a senior living community will help to ease the transition.
If you're looking for independent living options in Richmond, IN, consider Friends Fellowship Community. We’re the only senior living community in the area to offer a life care option. Life care residents are assured lifetime care even in the event of insufficient financial resources in the future. Providing this financial assistance has been central to our mission since the very beginning.
Friends Fellowship Community offers several different levels of accommodation, from independent living to assisted living to memory care. Contact us to schedule a consultation and find out if we're the right fit for you.