West Knoxville: 865-357-2288 | North Knoxville: 865-339-4422
Maryville: 865-980-8810 | Tullahoma: 931-222-4800

West Knoxville: 865-357-2288
North Knoxville: 865-339-4422
Maryville: 865-980-8810
Tullahoma: 931-222-4800

Moving has always been stressful. From the early days of college dorm living to that first apartment, your first home, your second home when you needed more room for the kids…and now you’re helping with another move. This time, it’s for your Mom or Dad (or both), getting them transitioned into the next phase of their lives: life in an Independent Senior Living Community. After all the research you’ve done, you’ve made the right choice of Parkview Senior Living, and now, you get to help prep for their move…just like they helped settle you into your first college dorm. My, how the tables have turned.

Here’s a list of things to keep in mind before, during and after Mom or Dad’s big move.

Before Moving Day

As we said, moving is stressful, especially for seniors making this transition from a home they’ve likely occupied for decades to a Senior Living Community. Change does not come easy for many seniors, as they usually thrive within their daily routines, so they can be easily overwhelmed. Before moving day, you can help your senior reduce their transitional stress and anxiety by planning visits to the community, weeks, even months ahead leading up to the move. Arrange for them to have a few meals at the community, and even partake in enjoyable community activities before they move in. Parkview welcomes these practices and provides a sign-up sheet for upcoming new residents to partake in activities, and even meals with advance notice.

It’s recommended that you stay in contact with the community and ask questions, so you know all the ins and outs of moving-in day expectations. If there are any problems with your parent’s experience, the community administrators will know who you are, so it’s best to foster these personal relationships with community staff early. 

Finally, keep your Mom or Dad involved in the moving process. It may be tempting to take over and take care of it all, but it’s their life and they need to be a part of it all so they can share in the fulfillment of a job well done at the end of the day.   

On Moving Day

We’ll skip past the sometimes tedious work of packing all your parents’ belongings up and get right to the move-in. Once all your loved one’s furniture and possessions have been loaded into their new living space, keep their new apartments’ door open. Current community residents are always curious about who is moving in and who their neighbors are, so they’re likely to stop by to say hello and introduce themselves if the door is propped open. 

Once you get to a natural time to take a break, like lunchtime, escort your parent down to enjoy a meal in their community’s dining area. This is another opportunity to meet neighbors and mingle. Check and see what the schedule of planned community activities is for that day, and, following your meal, encourage your loved one to dive right in and take advantage of the amenities the community offers. Why wait? Let your parent get into experiencing the community’s lifestyle by playing bingo, watching a movie or attending an exercise class, all while you return to their apartment and continue the unpacking process. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for community team member assistance, as they can help you get your parent situated easily, since they do it on a consistent basis and have likely seen every kind of issue that can pop up. Their experience can ease the unknown quickly. They can help instruct you on everything, from how to work the thermostat to helping hang pictures. This will help move-in day fly by and get your parent’s new home set up as much as possible so they will feel settled in before you depart for the day. 

After Moving Day

There are some communities that allow loved ones to stay with a new resident in their apartment for a select time frame to help ease the parent’s transition into their new home. This is worthwhile, just to keep a parent’s anxiety level manageable as they adapt to their new surroundings and routines. Parkview encourages this, and even has a guest suite available at no charge for the first two nights so family can stay close to their loved one while still being comfortable. This suite is available on a first come, first served basis. Speak with a Parkview representative for full suite details and availability.

Many times, senior apprehension can be alleviated just by making sure new residents are getting involved and not staying isolated inside their apartment. Many communities host events designed for current residents to welcome new arrivals. These events also give your parent or parents a chance for community staff members to meet and get to know them. Parkview hosts a New Resident Orientation to help ease the resident’s transition, as well as a New Resident Mixer event so they can meet their new neighbors and staff members. The more interaction with facility staff, the better. Encourage your loved one to take advantage of all the social activities they can and try new things so they can feel more at home in the senior living community as quickly as possible.

Finally, don’t forget about your loved one. Stop by and visit often, especially early on, and become a part of your loved one’s new community life. Familiarity brings comfort, and they’ve known you your whole life. Get to know your parent’s neighbors and become a part of the community’s extended family, which also includes employees.

The transition from home living to independent senior living can be difficult, because the first time is usually the only time it’s done. Following these tips can help make the move as stress-free as possible for your loved one. And remember, the Parkview community staff is always available to answer questions and help make your parent’s transition to their new place as easy as it can be.