The Ultimate (Palindrome Filled) Guide to Helping Seniors Move Homes

The Ultimate (Palindrome Filled) Guide to Helping Seniors Move Homes
  • Opening Intro -

    The time has come to move mom or dad into an assisted living facility. This is a difficult process and emotions will be running high. But with the proper preparation you can reduce stress and make the transition easier.


From getting her house ready to move to inspecting the assisted living facility, let’s look at the best ways to make this process go smoothly.

A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama

You need a plan. The man, canal, and Panama are completely optional.

Talk with mom about her worries and together come up with a way to make them better. She may have concerns you don’t have, but don’t trivialize them. She is the one who is actually moving. Don’t make decisions without her input; this will only increase her frustration and feelings of helplessness and create a doom mood. Go slowly, be her pacecar, not her racecar. Work with her to create a plan that you are both happy with.

Use Your Radar – Find the Perfect Place to Live

You should choose the assisted living facility that fits mom’s needs the best. Narrow down your research and then go visit them. Observe how the caretakers and patients interact, and ask lots of questions. In particular, you should find the answers to the following:

  • Is the facility inviting and clean?
  • Are the doors easy to open and close?
  • Are there fun activities that mom would love?
  • When are meals offered? What options do they have for food?
  • Is there enough space and storage in the rooms?
  • Is there a personal emergency response system in place?
  • What type of care is provided?
  • How do caretakers interact with the seniors?

Talk with the residents to learn what life is really like in the facility. If possible, spend time with them and look in on meals and activities. Avoid stressed desserts. Take notes and compare the facilities to find the one that fulfills mom’s needs and wants.

No place is perfect, but somewhere will be perfect for her.

Getting A Home Ready For Sale Is Never Odd Or Even

Now that mom knows where she’s going, it’s time to clean up where she’s been. Work with a real estate professional to get the best value from the house. While they get the marketing ready, you can make the house appealing to buyers.

Buyers want to see a clean house that doesn’t need much work. Now’s the time to fix those nagging projects that never got done. Fix the leaky faucets, smooth and paint over dents in the walls, and silence that squeaky door. Make sure to aerate pet area if needed.

Thoroughly clean the house from bottom to top, paying special attention to the kitchen and bathroom. You want her home will be a mega-gem for someone lucky.

If you have time to renovate the house and make it modern, definitely do so. A small but effective fix is to update the hardware in the kitchen and bathroom. Simply replacing the knobs will make the place less dated. Even if you don’t have the time and money to spend, cleaning the house of clutter and dirt will make all the difference.

Clearing out the house is best done before her house goes on the market so that potential buyers won’t be distracted by the clutter. No one wants to see UFO tofu lying around! To do that means deciding what mom needs to pack.

Pack Up and Move – Are we not drawn onward to new era?

Before making any plans, first ask the facility what items are not allowed. With that in mind, you and mom will need to go through her things and decide what she wants to bring with her. Follow her lead in deciding the most important things. What may seem old and useless to you may bring her comfort and joy. You might feel the urge to buy her all new things, but she will feel more at home with her familiar possessions. Avoid clutter, but bring the things that will make this new place feel like home.

Don’t forget to pack mom’s everyday necessities. She needs to have her medication, shampoo, toothbrush, and other toiletries. She needs enough clothing, including underwear and socks to get her through several weeks, sweaters for the air conditioning, and festive outfits for events.

Once you’ve decided what to bring, hire a moving company to do the heavy lifting. In the meantime, you can take care of all the paperwork required to move into the facility, sell the home, and switch mom’s mailing address. Celebrate the hard work. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn.


The transition to assisted living is much easier with good communication and planning. With your support, your loved one will be safe and happy in her new home. In the end, you may even say, ma is as selfless as I am.

Shayne Fitz-Coy is the Co-CEO and President of Alert-1, an aging-in-place technology company headquartered in Williamsport, Pennsylvania with offices nationwide. Shayne has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Harvard College and a Masters in Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Shayne hails from Maryland, and now calls the Bay Area home.



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