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Tips to Make the Transition to Assisted Living Smoother

No matter the age, making a move to a new home is a big change. Moving a parent to an assisted living community offers so many benefits and can be one of the greatest gifts you can give. At the same time, preparing for that move can feel overwhelming and can be accompanied by worries about what life will be like after the move. At Clark, we work hand-in-hand with families and residents from the planning process to beyond the transition. We see daily the joy that comes with having made the move. 

Having worked with many residents and families, we are happy to share some tips that can make the transition smoother:

Downsize Early

Making a major move combined with downsizing can feel daunting. Planning ahead can make the whole experience more manageable and far less exhausting. Start the downsizing process as early as you can and make a plan. As part of the plan, break the process into smaller, more manageable tasks. Instead of trying to tackle everything at once, focus on accomplishing one or two of the smaller tasks each week. This approach also gives everyone space and emotional bandwidth to sort through family momentos. Working with a moving company like Pathway Senior Movers is another great way to lessen the load. Companies like Pathway can help with planning, downsizing, selling items, and the move itself. You can read more tips on downsizing and decluttering here.

Make the New Space Feel Familiar

Anytime you move to a new home, making the new space “feel like home” is an important part of the process. The same is true when moving into an assisted living community – perhaps even more so. You can make sure your loved one’s new home feels comfortable and familiar by filling the space with beloved photos, knick knacks and keepsakes. Another way to bring a familiar feeling to the new space is setting up areas like the bedroom and/or living room similar to how they were set up in their previous home. 

Take Advantage of Enrichment Activities

Encouraging your loved one to participate in enrichment activities at Clark is not only fun, but is also a great way to make social connections. At Clark, your loved one will find there is no shortage of activities! Clark’s highly-skilled recreational therapists take a person-centered approach to life enrichment and tap into the interests of our residents. Our weekly calendar of events and activities offers countless opportunities to enjoy favorite pastimes and explore new interests as well. Whether it’s arts and crafts, bingo, movie night or a creative writing group, getting involved is a great way to make the transition into the community easier.

Get to Know Neighbors & Community

An important step in settling into any new home is feeling connected with the community.  The same is true at Clark. Encourage your loved one to get out and connect with their new neighbors as soon as they can. In addition to enrichment activities, mealtime is a great opportunity to make new friends. Our assisted living neighborhoods within each community have their own dining room where residents enjoy meals together with their neighbors. Another way to connect is for you and your loved one to get to know the staff personally. 

Family Visits

Make a plan for family visits well ahead of time. Consider having a calendar of these plans for your loved one to refer back to and look forward to. Seeing a familiar face, be it their children, grandchildren, or an old friend can make a huge difference not only during a time of transition but even beyond.

Learn More

At Clark, we partner with families in planning the care your loved one receives and focus on empowering your loved one to maintain as much of their independence as possible while being available 24/7 to lend them a helping hand when it’s needed. Ultimately, this means your loved one has the space to thrive, and you can worry less knowing supportive care surrounds them.

If you think your loved one could benefit from assisted living at either our Franklin or Keller Lake locations, contact our senior living advisors at or 616-278-6520 or complete the form below to learn more about our living options at our two distinctive locations. We’d love to show you what Clark can bring to your family.

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