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Making the Transition to Assisted Living


While the trend these days is for older adults to remain in their homes for as long as possible, aging in place may not be feasible for everyone, and assisted living may be the better option. We have some suggestions for making the transition to assisted living as easy as possible.

First, however, you may wonder when you should consider assisted living for yourself or an aging loved one. Here are a few scenarios that may indicate assisted living may be the right choice:

  • Chronic medical conditions are worsening, or there are multiple medical conditions.
  • You, or your loved one, fall more often and are frail overall.
  • Managing finances becomes overwhelming, there are money issues, or the older adult is the victim of a financial scam.
  • The house is not clean, is cluttered or unsafe.
  • There is a decreased ability to care for oneself, and personal grooming suffers.
  • The senior demonstrates depression or social isolation.
  • When dementia, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s disease is an issue

The decision to move into assisted living isn’t an easy one for the older adult or their family. But having “the discussion” doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if you approach it well in advance. Framing it in favorable terms and doing advance research can help make the discussion go more smoothly.

Addressing the issue sooner than later will also help, mostly because the transition to assisted living is more comfortable when your loved one is ready. And the best way to be prepared is to have given it thought beforehand.

Granted, making a will or planning for the possibility of assisted living can be uncomfortable to think about and easy to put off. But, it can be even harder for everyone when those issues are not taken care of before they’re needed. If you think about assisted living as an option early on, you can have time to look for a suitable facility – and to start saving, so having enough funding isn’t an issue.

Here are a few ways to help make the transition to assisted living a bit easier:

If possible, keep it local.

By choosing a facility in the community, your loved one will have access to the same doctors and services they use now. The area will be familiar, making the transition easier. However, if a parent is moving to be closer to their grown children, it’s not always possible to stay in the community. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both moving to a new area and staying in the same area.

Visit the assisted living facility ahead of time.

Getting familiar with the layout, meeting staff and residents, and taking a few meals in the facility before the move will help make things familiar and make for a smoother transition.

Let the older adult(s) feel independent. 

Family members should be present and visit often, but avoid hovering – and allow them to adapt to their new situation. Everyone should give the process time: some people get used to change more quickly than others. At the same time, don’t expect it to happen overnight.

Choose items to bring from the old home to the new.

Having prized possessions will help make the new housing feel like home. If you have no one to help with this process, a service like ours can help clear the clutter, choose what to bring, and pack it carefully for the move. And we can help you unpack as well!

Don’t bring a lot of “new stuff.”

A new living situation brings with it the temptation to get new things for your loved one, but it might be best to hold off and not overwhelm them with strange, new stuff at the start. You can send care packages once they settle in, but the best thing you can give your loved one is time. Be sure to stay in touch and visit often.

Take advantage of the available activities.

There are usually many activities taking place regularly at assisted living facilities. Participating can help save off loneliness and isolation.

As an older adult facing a move to assisted living, the best thing you can do is be prepared and keep an open mind. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and try to be your own best advocate. And be sure to socialize with your fellow residents! They were the newcomers at one time, and they understand the apprehensions you may have. Making friends and staying active is the best way to settle into your new home.

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When seniors are ready to relocate – whether it’s to downsize or move to a senior living facility – we know how overwhelming it can be! Our Specialists take the emotional and physical stress out of senior moves because they understand what it is like to move a lifetime of memories and possessions. Contact us today!


Halloween can be fun for kids and adults alike, but for some seniors – especially those who live alone – it can be a frightening time. Masked strangers and constant knocking can contribute to uneasiness during the holiday. Constantly getting up and down to answer the door can increase the risk of a fall.

There’s also the fear of unexpected pranks and possible vandalism: Insurance claims show that Halloween is one of the worst days of the year for homeowners and auto claims related to theft and vandalism.

But that doesn’t mean older adults should get spooked by Halloween. After all, why should they miss out on the fun? By following a few Halloween safety tips for seniors, it can be a joyous and rewarding evening no matter what your age.

Halloween Safety Tips for Seniors

  1. Go outside to give out candy, if possible.
    Never let trick-or-treaters into your house or let anyone in to use the phone or bathroom. If weather permits, hand out candy from the porch. If you can’t go outside to hand out candy, use the peephole to see who’s at the door before opening it.
  2. Keep pathways well lit.
    That way you can see who’s there and you can be seen. Pathways also may have uneven pavement or bricks or may be slippery from rain. Reduce your fall risk by staying close to your home in a well-lit and open area.
  3. Don’t let decorations impede the view.
    Make sure they don’t block the light or views of main entrances, such as the front door, and make sure they aren’t in the way of trip trick-or-treaters.
  4. Don’t use lighted candles as a decoration.
    Lighted candles can be a hazard to you and to trick-or-treaters, whose costumes could catch fire. Use battery-operated candles instead.
  5. Clear floors and hallways.
    Make sure there aren’t obstacles on your path to the door. That includes stray cords, shoes, books, or other things that could trip you and cause you to fall.
  6. Remember: You’re never too old to dress up!
    If you dress up, be sure the mask (if you wear one) provides a clear view. Your costume should allow easy movement and shouldn’t be a falling or tripping hazard.
  7. Invite a friend or family member over to help.
    If you feel uncomfortable giving out candy by yourself, having someone with you may make it less stressful and more fun!

Safety Tips for Seniors with Dementia

Confused Senior man

Seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, who may already be anxious, may find Halloween especially upsetting. Halloween can be confusing and can trigger behavioral problems because of environmental changes, strange people in and around the house, masked visitors, misperceived threats and fear of the unknown.

Also, Halloween occurs around sundown, which can be a particularly difficult time of the day for people with dementia. Sundowner’s Syndrome is a state of confusion occurring in the late afternoon and spanning into the night that occurs in people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Never leave a person with dementia at home alone on Halloween. Have someone stay with them or take them to another setting such as an event at a senior center or a family member’s home for a few hours.

Tips for Seniors Who Don’t Want to Give Out Candy

If a senior has dementia, is physically unable, or doesn’t want to hand out candy themselves, there are a couple of things they can do:

  1. Put candy in a bowl on the porch with a sign that says, “One candy per person, please.”
  2. Ask a neighbor to give out candy for you and put a sign on the door that says, “Candy for this house being given out next door.”

There’s some debate over whether to leave a light on outside if you aren’t giving out candy at all. On one hand, leaving the light off is a sign that no candy is being given out. But it’s also a sign there’s no one home, increasing the risk of vandalism or burglary. It may be better just to leave the porch and inside lights on and put a sign on the door that says, “Sorry, no candy at this house.”

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According to the AARP nearly 90% of older adults want to age in place and maintain their independence. An important factor in aging in place is a safe home with minimal risks. The Maine Move can perform a safety assessment to identify risk factors and help get necessary modifications made. Up to 50% of home accidents among seniors can be prevented by proper home modifications and repairs!

Call us for a complimentary consultation to assess your needs 207-313-3797.