9 Tips for Moving a Parent to Assisted Living


It’s a significant occasion filled with a mixture of emotions when you and a parent have started the conversation about making the move to assisted living. This means you’re working together on the best path to ensure their golden years are safe and happy. After all, assisted living improves the quality of life for seniors who are looking to stay active and healthy but also need some extra support.

Making the decision to move to assisted living is step one, while the move itself is another part of the journey. Moving can arouse new emotions and require different forms of support. Below, we’ve outlined nine of our best tips for moving a parent to assisted living to help you through this process, making it as stress-free as possible.

Navigating the Early Transition Stage

1. Start Early

Begin the planning process well in advance to ensure a smooth transition. Assess your parent’s needs, explore assisted living options, and create a timeline. Other items to consider at this time include organizing important documents and making plans regarding the management of assets.

2. Involve Your Parent

Engage your parent in the decision-making process as much as possible. Their input and feelings are crucial to making not only the right choice for your parents but also to increase the likelihood of a successful move and adjustment into their new environment. Transitioning to assisted living is a big step, and you want everyone to be on the same page.

3. Research and Visit Assisted Living Communities

Take the time to research and visit several assisted living communities to find the one that best suits your parent’s needs and preferences. Pay attention to cleanliness, staff-to-resident ratio, and available amenities. Places like Cascade Living Group are always excited to welcome visitors for informative tours.

4. Budget and Financial Planning

Determine the costs and create a financial plan. You’ll want to understand your parent’s financial situation, explore potential funding sources, and consider long-term financial sustainability. In many cases, you’ll find that assisted living costs less than staying at home with caregiving support.

How to Make Moving Day Easier

5. Downsizing and Decluttering

Help your parent downsize by decluttering their current home. This can be an emotional process, so approach it with sensitivity and care. However, it can also be a meaningful trip down memory lane to share with them, as well as liberating to get ready for their next chapter. Additionally, getting a floor plan of your parent’s new residence will help you decide which furniture to move into the space.  

6. Professional Help

For some, enlisting the services of professionals, such as a senior relocation specialist or an eldercare attorney, to navigate the legal and logistical aspects of the move is a helpful step. Some individuals choose to hire reliable movers who have experience with senior relocations.

7. Packing and Moving Logistics

Create a packing list of all the important items you want to ensure arrive at your new assisted living residence. Enlist family and friends to assist with packing special items. Ensure you know the community’s move-in procedures and follow any protocols they may have. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes on move-in day. 

You also want to ensure you notify others of your parents’ new address and set up mail forwarding. If they receive Social Security or Medicare benefits, update their address online.

Settling In After the Move

8. Embracing a New Environment

Once your parent is settled in their new assisted living community, schedule regular visits to help them adjust to their new surroundings. You can enjoy meals in the dining room together or simply explore the campus. They will have experience on what works well to support a successful adjustment to the community.

Encourage them to participate in activities and socialize with other residents. Be available and supportive because, just like any other big life changes, it can take time to acclimate and become comfortable. Before long, it will feel like home.

9. Emotional Support

Moving can be emotionally taxing for both you and your parent. Provide emotional support throughout the process, and consider seeking counseling or therapy if needed. Even when decisions are the right ones, they can still have emotions to work through. Staff members at the community can also provide support and resources.

Bonus Tips & Other Considerations

  • Setbacks are normal: If there’s a day that’s harder for your parent, that is normal and expected. This is a big change in their life. Keep good communication with them as well as the staff in the community, and you’ll navigate any obstacle together.
  • All emotions are valid: Relief, worry, happiness, being overwhelmed – you might experience a mix of all these emotions, and that’s perfectly normal. Lean on your support system and remember that everything you feel is valid and expected at this time of change.
  • You’re not alone: Although it can feel overwhelming, it helps to remember you are not alone in this journey. Many people have walked in your shoes and discovered how much assisted living was a benefit not only for their parents, but their entire family. This choice is an act of love for your parent.

Remember that every family’s situation is unique, so adapt these tips to fit your specific circumstances and your parent’s needs. With the right preparation and support, the move to assisted living will be a positive step toward ensuring your parent’s well-being and quality of life.

Cascade Living Group is here for families like yours.

When it’s time for you and your parent to choose a senior living community, we want you to feel confident in your decision. Cascade Living Group offers high-quality assisted living at a variety of our locations.

We invite you to contact us to schedule a tour or simply to learn more about life at our welcoming communities.