What to Bring to Assisted Living – A Checklist
Moving to assisted living means making decisions about many things. One set of decisions you will need to make is what to take with you. Most assisted living communities give you a lot of discretion as this is YOUR home. We recommend starting with a floor plan. If your assisted living community cannot provide you with a floor plan, creating one is pretty easy. Measuring all walls to insure that the furniture you are bringing will fit is a step you can’t skip. Once you have a floor plan, you have a tool to assist in choosing what to take. It will also help to insure you don’t take too much. Choose items that have the most meaning and “spark joy” for you. The checklist and tips below can serve as a helpful guide. Never hesitate to reach out to your assisted living community or a senior move manager if you have any questions or concerns about this process.
Given that all meals are prepared for you, it is not necessary to bring many of the things that may currently exist in your kitchen. Most assisted living apartments have a small refrigerator, fewer drawers and cabinets and no stove. Drawer widths may be smaller, so measuring them for things like organizers and silverware dividers might be important. You may have visitors and want to have small meals in your new home, so having the following covers all bases.
- Kitchenware: 2-4 each of dishes, bowls, glasses, cups/mugs, silverware, cutlery, a pot, a pan, a favorite bowl or two.
- Cleaning: Dish towels, paper towels, sponge, all-purpose cleaner, garbage bag/pail, trash bags.
- Food: Favorite snacks, salt pepper
- Appliances: Microwave/coffee maker/toaster/clock/clock radio
- Furniture: Small dining table and two chairs. Drop leaf table is a good consideration.
Choose your favorite pieces of furniture. If trying to decide between two pieces, chose the item that gives the best storage. You want your living space to be comfortable so chose items that give you comfort. You want to consider your floor plan and safety. Choose your decorative items wisely.
- Furniture: A sofa or loveseat, an upholstered chair/ottoman, a rocker, coffee table, end tables, console for television, television, lamps, task light, wall art, plants
- Other: Decorative pillows, television, dvd player, stereo/radio, lamps, wall art, plants, framed photos, etc. Telephones
You will want to make sure that your bed is no bigger than a queen size as a king sized bed is generally too big to insure safe passage throughout the room. A dresser, bedside table, small chair is all that is needed. Consult your floor plan if you want to bring more. Be aware of and work with the location of the pull cord.
- Furniture: Bed (twin or full/queen), dresser, bedside table, small chair, small desk per floor plan.
- Clothing: Bring comfortable clothing that you currently wear (socks, underwear, nightwear, shirts, pants, sweaters, comfortable shoes, slippers) one or two dressier outfits, an outdoor coat or two, hanging cloths with hangers.
- Assisted Devices: Umbrella, walker, cane, eyeglasses, hearing aids
- Bedding: 2 sets of sheets, comforter, pillows, 2 blankets, mattress pad
- Electronic Devices: Computer, laptop, tablet, cell phone, chargers, alarm clock
Most assisted living apartments have a shower only, and heights and widths may not be standard size. Make sure to measure. You will have a medicine cabinet and under sink storage.
- Bathroom cleaner, air freshener, toiletries, prescription/over the counter medications
- Towels, wash cloths, bath mat, shower curtain/liner, wastebasket
- Toiletries: Personal/dental hygiene items (teeth, retainers, makeup)
- Shower chair, handheld shower sprayer
- Over the toilet storage
- Important personal papers: Passport, social security card, wills, financial reports, medical records.
- Sentimental items
- Family photos, tabletop/counter top décor (vases, figurines, plants)
- Books, magazines, puzzles, games, playing cards, hobby items, flashlight, magnifying glass.
- Pets: You may be able to bring your small pet, so don’t forget to pack for them (bed, food, bowls, leashes, litter, grooming items, medications, etc).
- Firearms are not generally permitted at assisted living communities and reconsider anything that could be a potential fire hazard (candles, inefficient countertop appliances).
- Don’t bring too much. You will be unhappy if your new home is crowded with not enough space for everything and/or it is difficult for you and your guests to maneuver.
- Overhead lighting is very limited, so bring lots of lamps to insure your home is properly lit.
- This is your new home, so make it just the way you want!