Congratulations on making the decision to make a retirement community your new home! Moving, no matter what stage of life you are in, can be a big transition and change. The best advice is to take it one step at a time. The advantage of living in a senior living community is that there are plenty of people to help you! For example, Campus Commons, Hilltop Commons, Roseville Commons, and Winding Commons have a Welcome Home Programthat is designed to help you or your loved one transition smoothly and seamlessly. Independent living has many perks and freedoms and trying to determine what is best for you will take some time. The Welcome Home Program will guide you through your first 90 days and help you discover activities and friends that share your same interests. If you follow these tips, it will start to feel like your new “home” sooner than later.
- Welcome Home Program. Check to see if your new community has a “Welcome Aboard” or “Welcome Home” plan. Many retirement communities offer these excellent programs to their new residents for the first three months. The first ninety days are the most critical in making the transition into any new home a positive experience and these plans help to make the transition smooth and easy. The resident will have a chance to dine one on one with the staff and Chef, while the housekeepers and maintenance will help you make your apartment comfortable – just the way you like it! The resident welcoming committee will show you the ropes and shortcuts! You will also have the opportunity to work with the Activity Director to personalize a program just for you!
- Familiarize yourself with the staff. The staff will become like your extended family and can provide you with support, information and can help enhance your experience at your new community. Express any concerns or worries you may have with them, as well as letting them know about your interests, hobbies and activities.
- Contact information. Provide your family with the names of the staff and administrators as well as a backup contact in case of an emergency. The more information you can provide your family, the better. Give them the community address, office hours and any contact phone numbers as well.
- Give it time. There is always a transition period when moving into a new home/community. If you look back on the different times in your life when you transitioned into a new home, you will most likely remember it didn’t feel like home your first day there. Give yourself a few months to adapt to your new place and to explore and connect with your new surroundings. Make your space your own by adding familiar touches like family pictures, photo albums, or sentimental letters. Surround your space with things that are important and meaningful to you.
- New freedoms. It may seem overwhelming at first, but just remember all the new perks you have gained by moving into an independent senior living community. You do not have to worry about yard work, cooking, cleaning, transportation and many other responsibilities you may have struggled with. At most communities, these things will all be provided for you. Now you have an excellent support system of people that will take care of these services for you, all while helping to ease your stress and worries and providing you with time to enjoy your interests and hobbies.
- Opportunities. Take advantage of your time and new opportunities to attend community events, outings, happy hours, classes and other social activities. Look at the monthly activity calendar and select a few events that interest you and go! This is a fantastic way to get to know other residents and to connect with the staff and your community. By attending an event, you may find a new hobby or activity that interests you as well.
- Invite your family and friends. Nothing makes a new place feel more like home than having your family and close friends around you. Invite them to visit and enjoy a meal together in the dining room, or invite them to a fun activity. This is also a great time for family and friends to get acquainted with your new surroundings, staff and other residents.
We hope these tips will help to ease you into this new stage of your life. May it be one that is memorable and meaningful for you, with less worries and responsibilities and more time to enjoy the people, moments and things you love most. Welcome home!