Planning a Move to an Independent Living Community

February 1, 2023

Beginning your quest for a residential living community that will complement and enrich your life can be thrilling and daunting. There is much to look forward to, from a maintenance-free lifestyle and convenient amenities to an engaging social calendar. Whether you are getting ready to move in the near future or are just beginning your search, being prepared and informed about moving to an independent living community can make the transition less stressful and more enjoyable.

It can take time to find the right neighborhood and community. And because sought-after communities tend to have waitlists, it is ideal to start the process early. These steps can help you get organized and stay positive while you prepare for a move.

Do Your Research

Before diving into research on individual communities, list your “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” to help you focus your search on what is most important to you. This will also provide you a baseline for comparing and contrasting communities.

Numerous resources are available to help you research and learn more about independent living communities. Visit their websites, read testimonials and reviews from residents and family members, follow social media accounts to get a sense for community life, join the email list to keep up-to-date on community happenings and events, and look for awards and recognition, such as those given by U.S. News & World Report or Pinnacle Quality Insight.

Things to take into consideration when doing your research include:

  • Pricing and financial options – cost of living is often one of the first questions asked about senior living communities. It can be helpful to determine your current total living expenses, including maintenance, groceries, utilities, etc., and compare those with the cost of senior living and all amenities offered. Consider Life Plan Agreements and/or Rental Agreements to see which best suits your needs and finances.
  • Events and activities available – browse communities’ events calendars to see what options are available. Do you have a unique hobby that isn’t already on the calendar? Many communities’ life enrichment programs are resident-directed. Ask about opportunities to create a new group or plan excursions. You may find that other community members have a similar interest.
  • Levels of care available – communities that offer a full continuum of care bring peace of mind in knowing that you can move once and will be cared for should you need a higher level of care in the future.
  • Community amenities & services – research amenities at each community based on what is most valuable to you. This could include dining options, fitness centers, library or games rooms, guest suites for visitors, transportation, parking, salons, or whether a community is pet-friendly.

Take a Tour

Once you’ve found a handful of communities you’d like to learn more about, it’s time to visit in person! There is no better way to get a feel for a new community than by taking a tour. This will allow you to meet residents and hear their insights, get face-to-face answers to your more pressing questions, and envision your life and role in the community.

Join a Waitlist

You may find that your chosen community has more future neighbors who are ready to move than they have available apartment homes. In these cases, many will have waitlists that you can join by completing an application and placing a nominal refundable deposit. Once you join the waitlist, you will be notified when a space that meets your criteria is available. Keep in mind that an important element of planning and preparation with communities that have waitlists is factoring in the length of time between joining the waitlist and an apartment becoming available. If you are open to different floor plans and options, you may find your time on a waitlist is shorter.

If you do join a waitlist, enjoy it! Many communities, including Clermont Park, will invite those who are on their waitlists to take part in community events, exclusive gatherings, and life enrichment programming.

Prepare for Downsizing

Whether you are planning to move soon or are just considering your options, beginning the downsizing process early can help reduce stress and make the process more enjoyable. To start, it can be helpful to have an idea of the square footage or layout of your new home, as this will provide you direction on what furniture and other household items will work well in that space.

Next, seek assistance from a family member, friend, or professional organizing or move management service to help you sort through your belongings and decide what you’d like to keep, what to gift to loved ones, and what you are ready to let go of. Take your time with this process, and let yourself enjoy going through the memories associated with your treasures! Here are some helpful tips when downsizing:

  • Start small. Downsizing can be overwhelming, but you can get positive momentum if you start with small, straightforward items rather than more oversized items or emotional items such as heirlooms.
  • Do away with duplicates. Household items can multiply over the years! Do you have four different gadgets for peeling and pressing garlic? Start minimizing items by eliminating duplicates.
  • Categorize. Keep, toss, give away. Create categories to manage the sorting process. If you feel you need more time to decide about an item, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself when you last used or wore it. Has it been a year? Maybe two? Consider the toss or give away piles for these items.

Overall, allow yourself to keep and cherish what brings you joy and will make sense in your new space.

Communities such as Clermont Park have team members who can assist you with your moving plans, which will make the process far more accessible and much more enjoyable.

While planning for a move can seem overwhelming, pause every now and then to envision your future. Without home maintenance, shoveling snow, and yard work, you can enjoy spending more time with friends and family, pursuing your hobbies, relaxing with a good read, or soaking in the beautiful Colorado outdoors!

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