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Preparing For Life In Senior Independent Housing

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Senior independent housing provides an opportunity for aging adults to maintain a degree of independence while being part of a community with abundant support staff to assist with meals, social activities, and coordinating medical care. Senior communities can range from apartments with a high number of medical staff on hand to condo complexes with non-invasive check-ins and community hubs to keep seniors connected. 

No matter the type of facility chosen, it's important to strategically plan ahead for an eventual relocation. Downsizing furniture and smaller possessions is often necessary, and care needs to be taken to preserve memories and important papers. Storing true valuables like high-dollar jewelry, antiques, and cash should also be accomplished offsite.

Furniture and appliances

Independent housing for seniors is available in many forms. Some apartments, particularly in facilities laid out more like hotels, are fully or partially furnished. Most units will feature appliances designed to form a compact kitchenette, and laundry is often a provided service. For condo-style communities, laundry may be an opt-in based on needs, and individual homes can feature a washer and dryer. Included furniture is generally more limited and may be offered on an as-needed basis. 

Mementos and personal items 

Selecting key personal mementos, such as favorite framed photographs, preferred art, and highly loved knick-knacks, to take to a new location is important. These items help fill out a space and make it feel more like home right away. Keeping familiar items nearby also helps with maintaining memories and keeping loved ones connected. While everything may not be able to make the trip, curating the best of the best is essential for a pleasant stay.

Like mementos, clothes that are making the move should be selected with care. Definitely take enough clothes to ensure clean underwear, shirts, and pants are always available but avoid taking a number of statement pieces due to pure sentimentality. If clothes are extremely important because of a memory or emotional connection, limit these additions to only one or two items to avoid overwhelming minimal closet space, and consider trusting a friend or family member with other pieces.

Papers and documents

Keeping copies of all important legal documents, such as a marriage license, birth certificate, and social security card is key. Also retain copies of insurance papers, policy guidelines, and retirement account details as well as a copy of a will and a living will. Consider storing these papers in a small, fireproof lockbox for safe keeping and also add credit cards and other sensitive items without a need for regular access to the box. While the staff members in most senior housing communities are conscientious, a variety of people can have access to units for different reasons, so it's best to be cautious.

Contact a local senior independent housing service to learn more.