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How to Set Realistic Expectations for Moving Your Parents to a 55+ Community


Moving your parents into an active adult community or other senior housing option can be challenging.. As you work with your parents during this time of transition, know that there are several things you can do to make things easier for them as they leave your family home behind and begin a new lifestyle.

Understand and Emphasize Wellness

In recent years, the concept of wellness has been recognized. Wellness encompasses physical, emotional and mental health, as well as a person's social, vocational, and spiritual well-being and overall connection to nature. As you talk with your parents about their transition to an active adult community, emphasize the positive changes that await them.

Depending on the community, as well as your parent’s desires, these may include opportunities for physical fitness, spending time outdoors, exploring cultural activities with others, and making new friends. Emphasize that the move to a 55+ community is one step toward improving wellness during retirement.

Assist with the Move

Even if your parents are excited about moving to their new home, it's important to keep in mind that relocation is always stressful. A senior move can be particularly so, because the “rightsizing” process often involves a fair amount of decluttering and letting go of furniture, furnishings, and other mementos.

You may be able to help with this by helping your parents go through their belongings and assisting with deep cleaning the home before it goes on the market. If there are items that you, or your siblings, may want, you can discuss your desires with your parents. You can also help arrange for a charity pickup of the belongings that will not be making the move.

Spend Time Together

In the time right before and after the move, do what you can to spend time with your parents. If necessary, enlist other siblings, grandkids and even close relatives and friends to help acclimate your parents to their new lifestyle. 

Right after the move, you may want to spend some time in the community with your parents, either in a spare bedroom or, if the community has them, an on-property guest suite. For example, most Everleigh active adult communities have guest suites readily available to allow friends and family to offer their support. Spend some time with your parents enjoying the amenities of the community and encourage them to get to know other residents. This can ease the transition and help your parents feel more comfortable in their new surroundings. 

If you, or your parents, are considering moving to a 55 and up community, take time to review your options, calculate costs and determine the community type and level of care required. Making a careful, considered decision can help ensure maximum satisfaction for everyone involved.