You’ve decided to move to an independent living community. While the benefits that await you in your new lifestyle are exciting and rewarding, the move itself can cause a significant amount of stress. It’s normal to be overwhelmed during a major life transition – big changes are about to occur! But it is possible to make the move to your new independent living home without stress and anxiety taking its toll.
“Moving can be stressful,” says Heather Battey, Executive Director at amavida, a senior living community located in Fort Myers, Florida. “So many details go into the arrangements of a change in residence. However, at amavida, we believe that moving to a lifestyle that better suits your needs should be a celebration, not a stressful situation. We advise seniors and their families to make a plan that eases the transition from living at home to residing in an independent living community. By thinking ahead and focusing on the exciting aspects of the move, new residents can take charge of their transition and reduce stress throughout the process.”
10 Ideas for a Stress-Free Transition to Independent Living
Having a plan of action often helps us feel in control of our situation. Whenever a task has multiple moving parts and details to be addressed, we can easily find ourselves overwhelmed by the number of things we have to do. When that task is also a life-changing event, stress is caused not only by logistics, but emotional triggers as well.
Consider the following tips to alleviate both the logistical stress of moving and the emotional baggage you may be packing:
- Visit Often – Take the chance to visit your community as often as you can before your move. Stop by during meal times and get a feel for the dining options and atmosphere. Chat with current residents and members of the staff. Get familiar with where things are on campus and start allowing yourself to feel at home.
- Attend Programs & Events – Participate in social events and programming in your community to meet new neighbors and scope out opportunities for fun. Attend a happy hour or art class, join in a book club discussion or sign up for a hiking trip. Start looking into your options for engagement and involvement ahead of time. You’ll have good ideas for what to participate in once you move and can work out any stressful jitters you may have.
- Make a Connection – Be sure to make a special connection with a community leader you trust. Whether that’s the Community Relations Director or the Executive Director, it helps to have a relationship with someone who can answer your questions and address your concerns. Seek out someone you feel comfortable talking with and form a meaningful connection.
- Change Your Address – Shortly before your move, be sure to change your address with the postal service, as well as with your bank, credit card companies, doctors’ offices and others. Don’t forget any magazine or newspaper subscriptions! This can be a tedious task, so try to make it less stressful by making a list of all the places that send you essential mail and check them off one by one.
- Downsize Your Belongings – Chances are that your independent living home will be smaller in size than your current house. Consider your move an opportunity to declutter and release some of the “stuff” that you don’t need. You can do some good in the process by donating items to shelters or thrift stores or giving meaningful gifts to family members.
- Don’t Pack What You Don’t Need – Check with your community before your move to see what is included in your new home. Some independent living apartments come fully furnished, while others supply basic furniture or curtains. Knowing what you do or don’t need ahead of time can help you plan your packing accordingly and prepare for a smoother, stress-free move.
- Start Moving Before Move-In – If possible, start moving some of your things into your new community before your actual move-in date. Check with your community to see if this is a possibility. If you can move the bulk of your belongings gradually, it reduces the stress of renting a moving van or transferring everything all at once.
- Make the Space Your Own – One way to relieve moving anxiety and stress is to create a space that feels like home. Decorate your new apartment in a style that suits you, and add personal touches to your home. Display your favorite mementos and pictures. Make your new home a place where you feel comfortable and content.
- Host a Housewarming Party – Once you make the move, share your excitement by hosting a housewarming party for family or friends. Show off your new place and give them a private tour. Bringing in the people you care about can help you feel at ease and realize that your valued relationships won’t change with your address.
- Embrace New Opportunities – Let yourself enjoy everything your independent living community has to offer! Try out the amenities and programs, meet new people and try something you’ve never done before. If you start to feel anxious or stressed, remember that you’re just beginning the next chapter of your retirement. Embrace every opportunity for fun and fulfillment!
A Place You’ll Love to Call Home
“Moving to an independent living community is less stressful when you can’t wait to get there,” says Battey. “If you’ve chosen a place that suits your needs and personality, then the stress of moving will soon subside. However, it’s important to note the source of serious stress or anxiety related to this transition. If you’re dreading making the move, you may want to consider whether the community you chose is really right for you. If you’re not excited about the lifestyle you’re gaining, it might be wise to reconsider your options.
“At amavida, we understand that transitioning to an independent living lifestyle is a big decision, and we respect that by creating a community that makes your choice worthwhile.”
If you would like more information on making a stress-free transition to independent living, contact amavida today for expert advice and guidance.
a love for life
Welcome to amavida, 32-acre resort-style senior living community in Fort Myers, Florida, designed for those who have a love for life. From maintenance-free cottage residences and apartment homes to exceptional amenities, amavida is a place to revel in an active, carefree and meaningful lifestyle!
Offering independent living, assisted living and memory care, as well as an onsite physician-staffed wellness clinic, residents live with calm confidence, knowing that if healthcare needs change, support is available right at home.
aspire to more
amavida and its services, amenities and programming have been meticulously designed to positively impact the lives of seniors. The flagship senior living community of developer Quadrum Global, amavida disrupts any commonly held beliefs about aging. This community embodies the youthful spirit that so many seniors feel – but aren't honored or recognized in other communities.
For seniors who aspire to more adventure, more indulgence, more meaning, amavida shares their zestful spirit and creates space for endless possibilities.