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What to Pack When Moving Into Memory Care

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A young woman helping a senior man pack his belongings into a cardboard box.

When moving to memory care, it can be easy for a few things to slip through the cracks. After all, there’s a lot going on, and you’ve likely got your hands full. If you or a loved one is preparing for a move to a new memory care community, it’s essential to pack the important things—along with everything needed for familiarity and comfort. This can ease the transition to senior living for your loved one.

Setting up your loved one’s new home in a convenient and familiar way is an excellent way to simplify their adjustment. Make sure all their important documents are in an easily-accessible private area, and try to set up their favorite belongings in a way that makes them happy.

But when you’re preparing for the move, you have to remember to bring everything, so here’s a quick list of what to pack when moving into memory care.

1. Important Documents

While it may seem easier not to pack the important documents until the last minute, they’re actually the first things you should focus on. Find a briefcase, a box, or a suitcase, and try to organize the documents as you go. Here are some crucial documents to ensure are safe:

  • Birth certificate
  • Driver’s license and federal ID
  • Social Security card
  • Passports
  • Medical records
  • Vehicle titles
  • Insurance paperwork

It can help to bring envelopes or small dividers to keep everything organized. By keeping all these documents together, you can be prepared with any necessary ID or information if something comes up.

2. Clothing & Hygiene

Setting aside a few outfits for the first few days of their new environment in case it takes some time to unpack can ease some stress. Try packing their favorite shirts or outfits in a separate suitcase or duffel bag, and toss in a spare toothbrush, dental floss, deodorant, shampoo, and anything else they may need for a few days.

A lot of unexpected factors can impact moving day, making the day longer than it needs to be. Weather, a change in environment, a problem with the vehicle, utility setups—a lot can often go wrong. If your loved one arrives at their new home later than intended, there’s a good chance you’d rather just lie down and deal with unpacking tomorrow. By having a bag ready for this, you can avoid a long night as well,

A young man holding a cup of coffee and an older woman in a knitted cardigan sit together on a couch and smile at a picture.

3. Sentimental Items

Memory care is intended to support memory impairment issues like dementia or Alzheimer’s. And when these conditions are in the equation, it’s important to prioritize comfort and familiarity in their new home.

Putting out familiar items, like favorite books, pictures, decorations, or knick-knacks, can help bring a sense of calmness and comfort to those suffering from memory impairment. And arranging the new room in a familiar way and placing cherished objects in specific areas can help them recall happy memories and bring peace to their everyday life.

It’s important to make sure you bring anything important to them, whether it makes sense to you or not. This new community is their home, so make sure you bring everything they need to make the place truly feels like theirs.

4. Assistive Devices

Safety should be key in any senior living community, so make sure you pack everything your loved one needs to move around safely and conveniently. If they need a cane, walker, or other mobility assistance, ensure they’re prioritized during the move. 

While many memory care communities are designed to be accessible for those struggling with mobility problems, you should think ahead here—see if the home your loved one is moving to is safe and set up properly so they can move about freely. If they need railings, special lifts or ramps, or any form of mobility assistance, make sure they have them.

5. Household Items

Many communities come pre-furnished, but that doesn’t mean the home will have everything your loved one needs. Check and see what furniture the home will have and plan accordingly. Maybe there’s a couch but no coffee table, or the kitchen doesn’t come with a coffee pot. 

Try and plan ahead so you don’t bring extra furniture that won’t fit into the home, or make arrangements to move their things into storage so you can adjust their home later to make it more familiar. Going out of your way to bring the right furniture can go a long way to make their new place feel like home.

And don’t forget items for their bedroom! Bring an extra set of sheets or 2, pillowcases, lamps, and whatever your loved one needs for maximum comfort. An extra pillow here or a throw blanket there can make a place feel much more like home.

6. Any Extra Devices

It helps to bring along any electronic devices your loved one needs for convenience. If they like to have a tablet or cell phone around so they can call or video chat with their family and friends, make sure you bring along an extra charger and the device itself. Bring their television or movie player if they love movies or TV. 

Don’t forget things like an alarm clock, kettle, radio, or computer, and make sure all electronics or breakables are packed safely.

How to Prepare to Move to Memory Care

By making sure you pack everything your loved one needs to make their place feel like home, you’re taking a big step towards helping them feel comfortable there. It can be an emotional experience moving into a senior living community, but by bringing along familiar and essential items, you can make this transition easier for your loved one.

Here at Tyler Mills Senior Living, we understand how important it is to feel at home, so we’re here to support you and your loved one during this time. Schedule a tour with us today to see for yourself!

Written by Ryan Donahue, Regional Vice President

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