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Memory Care

Checklist for Moving a Parent or Loved One to a Senior Living Community

Are you helping your parent or loved one move into a new senior living community? You’re not alone. There are approximately 47 million seniors living in the United States, and that number is expected to double by 2060. Whether your parent is just starting to research senior living communities like Beacon Hill, or already well into the planning process, use this senior living moving checklist to help make their transition as smooth as possible. 

1. Make a Moving Plan

Creating a moving plan (which includes a checklist like this one!) is the first step in ensuring that you, your family and your parent or parents are fully prepared for the move. Your moving plan should have a detailed timeline with clear expectations on which family members are responsible for which tasks. This should include dates on when downsizing should be completed, which items should be packed and when they should be packed by and include information on moving logistics. Also remember to have a plan for unpacking as well. 

Throughout this process, ensure that you stay positive and supportive. Remember that this transition may be emotionally difficult for you and your loved one. It’s a big change! 

2. Right-Size Belongings for the New Space

Sit down with your parent or parents and take a realistic look at the size of their new space in a senior living community versus their current space. Right-sizing one’s belongings to fit into their new lifestyle can be one of the most difficult parts of the moving process. It helps to break it into steps and to go through one room at a time. This process can take some time, so give yourself and your parents at least two weeks or even a month to complete this step. 

All items should fit into one of three categories: 

  • Save. This should consist of essential and beloved items that have the most utility and meaning. Critically, they must also be of a size that they can be accommodated in the new space. 
  • Donate or sell. Many items in your loved one’s household will be able to take on a second (or third!) life as a donated item. Other items can be sold, either at a garage sale or via auction, depending on the amount of belongings. Additionally, your loved one may consider bequeathing items to family members that they intended to pass on after their death. 
  • Toss. Depending on the amount of belongings your parents have, the “toss” pile could consist of a few garbage bags or a dumpster full of items. Walk through the space with your loved ones 


After this step is completed, make a final list of exactly which items will be going to the new space. This list will be invaluable as you coordinate the next step of the move. 

3. Evaluate Moving Options

The physical movement of belongings requires both labor and logistics. Ahead of the move, determine how much extra help you will need to complete any additional packing needs and ferry items from one location to another. 


While friends and family can be a great resource, a professional moving company can provide a more seamless moving experience. You may also want to work with the move-in coordinator at the senior living community to see if they have any moving services they recommend or if they can provide assistance with the move on their end. 

4. Work with Community Moving Liaisons

As discussed in the step above, the senior living community that your loved one chooses may provide access to move-in coordinators or liaisons who can offer both resources and advice ahead of and on the day of the move. These team members have an intimate understanding of the floor plans and logistics of each community, and can offer downsizing advice or inside tips on the best ways to access the new space with bulky or unwieldy items. 

5. Update Mailing Addresses and Utility Companies

The best way to change your address is through the post office. A change of address form can easily be filled out online to ensure your mail is forwarded.  This will also automatically update your address with government agencies such as: 

  • Medicare and Social Security
  • Voter Registration
  • Driver’s License and Car Registration  

Complete this step at least two weeks before your parents’ scheduled moving date to ensure there’s enough time for the request to be processed. 

6. Complete a Final Walkthrough

After the movers have gone or the last of the items on your moving checklist are completed, complete a final walkthrough of your parent’s home to ensure that nothing has been overlooked. If you have sold or will be selling the home, it’s also important to ensure that the space is in good condition before you leave. Keys can be left with a real estate agent or with the home’s new owners. 

7. Unpack and Settle In

Finally, you will want to help your parent unpack and settle into their new space. Depending on how long the first part of the move takes, you may all be tired by this point, so take a moment to rest, have a cool drink, or eat a spot of lunch before the next phase. 

Go through your packing list to ensure that all items on your list have been successfully transitioned to the space. While it’s key to get the essentials in place quickly, such as large pieces of furniture and toiletries, take the time to help your loved one put up a few photos, make their bed with fresh sheets, and put treasured or familiar items on their nightstand. The more quickly this space can feel like home, the easier the transition will be. Additionally, encourage your parent to begin participating in community activities and meals as soon as they feel comfortable. Making new connections is great for overall health, and can help them feel welcomed. 

Moving to Beacon Hill  

Life at Beacon Hill is one of supportive independence, where residents make the most of each day with access to thoughtful amenities and exceptional services. Discover more about Beacon Hill or schedule a tour to see for yourself what a connected, upscale and vibrant retirement could be like for your loved one.

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