This is a guest contribution from our friends at ABODO.
As Americans age, maintaining a home can be a burden, especially if you have health issues.
That’s why many people choose assisted living communities for their retirement years. Such facilities help seniors maintain independence while also lessening the burdens of maintaining a household. They also provide community and easy access to health care.
But the transition from home to a new apartment can be jarring, especially for seniors. When you’re used to home, even an apartment with a nice view and movie night down the hall can seem sterile and alien. Luckily, there are things you can do to make your new apartment feel like home. Here are a few ideas from the apartment experts at ABODO.
1. Family Photos
This is kind of a no-brainer. When you move into an assisted living facility, you’re starting with a blank slate. That can be good — maybe you have too much stuff! — but it can also feel sterile. To make things feel more like home, make sure to have plenty of pictures of loved ones and family members around. They’ll be visiting, you know. And they’ll be flattered to see themselves on the wall.
2. Something Old, Something New
A move into an assisted living facility necessitates downsizing. You can’t take your king-size bed, your sofa, your full dining room table (with china), or all your guest room linens. But that doesn’t mean you need to jettison everything. Pick a few pieces that mean the most, or have the highest value — a bed, a bookshelf, a breakfast table, a desk — and donate the rest to family or friends.
Or sell them, and use the money to buy new furniture that fits the new apartment. Always wanted a stained teak coffee table? Have you wanted a massage chair for years? Now might be the time to pull the trigger. New furniture can help you or your parent take ownership of the new space, making it feel like a new home.
3. Go Shopping
Every room has its own identity. One of the best things about moving is the ability to find that identity for yourself. When you move into an assisted living community, you have the opportunity to play interior designer again, maybe for the first time in a long while. Go nuts with it. Shop for curtains, rugs, and pillows like you’re moving someone into a college dorm. Take some risks.
4. Hobby Area
Assisted living facilities typically offer classes, talks, game nights, and even movie screenings. But that doesn’t mean that your own apartment is just for sleeping. It’s a good idea to include space in your new apartment for a hobby. If you’ve always been a chess nerd, mark off a table for games. Into fly fishing? Reserve a corner for your tackle boxes and thread. Always wanted to write your memoirs? Set up a desk near the window. Reserving space in your apartment for hobbies ensures that your attention won’t be monopolized by the television when you’re in your room. Plus, it’s a nice conversation piece for when friends and family are over.