So you’ve finally done it. You’ve determined how you want to live your retirement years. You’ve weighed your options. You’ve done your research, and you’ve decided that an independent living community is right for you.
Congratulations and welcome to an exciting new chapter in your life!
Now let’s help you prepare to make the most of your move into independent living. As with any move, relocating to a senior living community involves a lot of planning. It can seem overwhelming at first, but like any big task, breaking it up into smaller chunks will help keep you motivated and on track.
We’ve gathered six tips from other older adults who have made the successful move into independent living. These tips will help make your journey less stressful and more fruitful.
1. Declutter and downsize sooner rather than later.
Let’s be honest. Most of us have a little bit of the hoarder gene. Life is long, and we like to gather trinkets and trophies along the way to remind us of our highs and lows. Moving into an independent living community means downsizing for most of us. Don’t leave this to the last minute. We suggest you invite family members over to help. Make decluttering a celebration. Pass down your stories and your stuff. You just might find it brings you all closer. After all, it’s not the things we have in life that are the most important. It’s our relationships with others. Of course, you should definitely keep your favorite keepsakes. They’ll make great conversation pieces in your new home.
2. Don’t just move in, make yourself at home.
Moving into an independent living community isn’t just about moving your things. It’s about living the life you’ve always wanted to live. This isn’t just a senior living community, it’s your home. Make the most of it by getting out of your residence and getting to know what the community and your neighbors have to offer. After all, you’ve chosen this place because you wanted to enjoy your retirement years. Get out there and start enjoying them right now!
3. Put yourself out there and get involved.
Most senior living communities have libraries, woodworking shops, pools, gyms, social programs and many resident-run groups that encompass a wide-range of hobbies and interests. Do a little digging and asking around, and we bet you’ll find a group or several you want to join. It’s not only a great way to continue or start a hobby, but it is also one of the best ways to make new friends. And if you don’t see a group for your interest? Start one. You may be surprised at how many people want to join you.
4. Show off your family and friends.
You’ve moved in, you’ve joined some groups, made a few new friends. Now is the time to invite your family members and friends over to your new digs. Show them around, introduce them to your new neighbors and friends, treat them to a meal. More than anything, your loved ones want to know you’re doing well and enjoying yourself. And, who knows, maybe a few of your friends will decide to join you and become your neigbhors.
5. Rediscover and redefine who you are.
We put a lot into the word “retirement.” For many older adults navigating the move into independent living, it is a time to determine what is really important in their lives. It can even be a time of internal reflection. Many people find out who they really are and who they want to be once they’re no longer shackled to a career or focused on taking care of other family members. Remember, it’s never too late to live your best life.
6. Get to know the management and staff.
The management and staff at senior living communities are there because they are passionate about the residents of their community. If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask. The more you get to know the management and staff, the more comfortable they can make you as you transition into the community. You may find that some of them even become close friends.
We hope this list helps you make the most of your move into independent living. If you are still researching your options, we’d love for you to take a look at The Buckingham of Houston. Independent living here is far from just a floor plan. It’s more than fantastic dining options and a full calendar of activities. It’s a place to feel fulfilled by the great big possibilities residing right outside your door. Where fascinating people like you are determined to keep carving a path of purpose – all with the reassurance of lifetime care.