Alivio Downsizing

How to Have a Smooth Transition into a Retirement Community

The move from living at home to living in a Retirement Community is a big step for everyone involved.  Undoubtedly, it will be a change for family members and friends.  However, it is important to remember one thing. The person who will be experiencing the most change will be the loved one uprooting all that they know.  The following are a few tips on how to have a smooth transition to a Retirement Community.

Ask Questions

Before moving into a Retirement Community, it is important to be prepared for all of the changes that are about to occur.  Whether you’re doing some research online or about to visit a facility, it would be a good idea to write down any questions you have.

In most cases, an information booklet will be provided to each resident and/or family.  While these booklets aim to answer all possible questions, it’s likely something has been missed or requires clarification.  A tour of the facilities is also usually provided, which offers another opportunity to write down notes and questions as they arise.

A few questions you may want to ask, include:

  1. What stage of life does the facility cater to?
  2. Are the living arrangements categorized as apartments, assisted living, nursing homes, medical housing, or other?
  3. Is there a waiting list or is placement guaranteed instantly?
  4. Are there private room, are there shared room to save costs?
  5. How will the finances be taken care of?  Automatic withdrawal, post-dated cheques, or other options?
  6. What is included in the facility itself?  For example, check if there is someone on staff for:
  • Hairdressing
  • Nail Care
  • Dental Care
  • Social Activities
  • On-call nurse/doctor
  1. Is someone available to accompany the resident to appointments outside of the facility?
  2. Will a bed be provided or will the resident need to bring their own?  What about other furniture such as bureaus, night tables, etc.?
  3. Are items allowed to be hung on the walls?
  4. What are they allowed/not allowed to bring with them into the facility?
  5. Does clothing need to be labeled?  If so, how?  What is the laundry schedule?  Who takes care of the laundry?
  6.  Are there kitchenettes in each room?
  7. Are pets allowed? What are the restrictions? Are there exceptions?

The more information you have from the beginning, the less you’ll need to worry later on.

Understand That Routines Will Change

It is difficult for anyone to suddenly change their day-to-day routine.  When you’ve grown accustomed to doing things a certain way for the majority of your life, change can feel overwhelming.  So much so, that Relocation Stress Syndrome, also known as “transfer trauma”, is caused by a change in a home environment.

Those working in the Retirement Community understand this and are there to provide support.  However, some things can be done before, during, and afterthe move to help ease the process.

 This includes:

  1. Ask for the itinerary of the home.  In the days or weeks leading up to the transition, follow their daily schedule ie: dining time.
  2. Remind the individual that they have your support.  If they’re feeling anxious, ask them what can be done to ease their mind.
  3. Whenever possible, include them in the planning stages leading up to the move.  This way, they won’t feel blindsided when the time comes.  This is especially true for those who have always been highly independent; accepting the fact that they may need help is not easy.
  4. Have friends or family plan visits in advance and make sure they stick to what they say.  Of course, emergencies may arise which may affect visits.  Otherwise, if someone says they will be there, hold them to their word.  Not only will this provide something for them to look forward to, but it also proves that all you promised before they joined the facility remains true.
  5. Continue to ask how they are doing even weeks and months into their stay.  Even one slight change can affect how they are responding to life in their new environment.  From a staff change to a new meal being added to the menu, simply show interest in their life. The fact that you know when something may be affecting how they’re feeling, alone, is incredibly important.

These are only a few ways to make the transition easier, and it’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s needs are different.  Be prepared to handle unexpected situations and take them one step at a time.

Moving From Home to A New Community

Moves are always difficult, even for someone who’s moved several times but especially for those who have been in the same home for several decades. A downsize is very different than a move and far more intense. Besides having to declutter a lot of items rather than just shift them, there’s often a realization that it most likely can be the last. Understandably, this is an emotional time! Downsizing a home can trigger several emotions, and be extremely stressful. Many try but quickly realize they are overwhelmed; going through a lifetime’s worth of items is a lot of work, both physically and emotionally. This stress sometimes deters a downsize or even an initial decluttering from happening and only pushes the inevitable to a later date when things may become more urgent and therefore more stressful. The good news is that there is help out there!

Help Is Available

As a full-service downsizing company, we at Alivio Solution, offer expert, customizable or turnkey solutions for seniors and their loved ones. From reappropriating all items with care, while following the guidelines and requests given to us to a fully managed move and more. We have the desired experience and provide the proper downsizing services for seniors entering a new stage of their lives. To further help with the home downsizing process, we have many wonderful partnerships in the industry. Silver Lining Senior Advisory is a wonderful service for those who are overwhelmed with the other side of things; finding a suitable Retirement Home. They take the legwork out for you or your loved ones based on your unique needs, preferences, budget, and more.

For more information about who we are, and how our downsizing services may be exactly what you need, contact us at (437) 329-6873.  Or write to us at  We look forward to meeting you and hope we can help you!