two independent living residents at Charles E SmithIndependent living for older adults means residing in a community specifically designed to meet needs and enhance the lifestyle of its members. For all of the benefits, the first step to taking up residence in an independent living community requires a move, which can be quite stressful for some people. Leaving a familiar place to embrace new opportunities and resources involves planning and consideration. Here are some ways to facilitate the process.

1. Do Your Homework

Each independent living community is unique, and it makes sense to learn as much as you can about the new home you have chosen for yourself. Through research and questions, you can get a sense of the lay of the land, including the amenities and opportunities available. Don’t be afraid to ask to speak to current residents, read reviews, and prepare yourself with as much knowledge as you can. This way, when you do move in, you will be familiar with your new home and ready to take advantage of all it has to offer.

2. Prepare to Downsize

Often, the decision to transition to an independent living community occurs when your home becomes inconvenient: too big and too much work to maintain. This means your move will likely include downsizing to a more appropriate space. With downsizing comes the need to go through your belongings and decide what to bring with you. Start by encouraging your children to collect their belongings, and consider gifting them with family heirlooms. Next, take a systematic approach to your home, going from room to room to identify items that are broken, duplicates or simply unused. Finally, assess what you will want and need in your new home based on your research. This will help you decide what to keep, what to donate, and what gets disposed. If you need to let go of an old but loved piece of furniture or a collection of memorabilia, take pictures of them as a keepsake.

3. Take Your Time

A major move should never be done in a rush. Finding the right, high-quality movers, packing, and saying goodbye all deserve steady progress instead of a last-minute flurry of activity. A detailed floor plan of your new, independent living home can help with planning the layout of your furnishings and belongings. Go on a tour of your neighborhood to enjoy memories of your life there and plan socials to say your farewells to neighbors who have become friends.

4. Decorate Your New Home

The best way to make a house a home is through personal touches. Consider painting the walls and then put up your favorite photographs and artwork. Organize your furniture so that your favorite items are central and celebrated. Use area rugs, throw pillows, and other accent items to transform the space into your own. Finally, consider using lighting to make your new home reflect your personal taste and comfort.

5. Jump Right In

You’ve decided to move into an independent living community for the benefits it offers. These should include dining, activities, and other opportunities to socialize. Don’t wait to meet your neighbors and begin to make the most of your new community by becoming a part of it. You may find yourself a little shy at first, but you can expect to be welcomed by a whole group of residents and staff who are excited to meet you.

If you are considering transitioning into independent living, learn about Ring House, our independent living residence. Contact our sales specialist at 301-816-5012 for more information about amenities, availability, and current move-in special promotions.