Things to bring when moving into an Adult Family Home in the Bothell area


Image by Mark Adriane

For many seniors moving into an Adult Family Home, the move represents the last place they will live for any length of time. Not everyone, of course, but many make the move because they need that extra hand in getting about their day. Often, they are leaving the home of their own adult children, and often again, it’s because their care has become more challenging because of age, memory care, and general health. To say the are the only reasons is to overlook many of the very positive aspects of living in an Adult Family Home, and those positive things, when focused on, can make all the difference! Many Adult Family Home residents say, a few months into living in their new abode, why didn’t I make this move sooner?! Once a resident has gotten over the initial excitement of the Big Move, they begin to see just how custom built their new residence is. From Wake Staff to customer meals every day to 24-7 care and attention, as well as good company when you want it, residents realize it can be a fun and secure place to live, and without the guilt of feeling they are a burden on their own loved ones.

Start looking for an Adult Family Home months before you think you’ll need one

Once you move into an Adult Family Home, you don’t want to make a move to another one unless there’s a real problem. The trick is to know what you want, and be selective about it in a planned, cool way. This will increase if not guarantee your chances of moving into the most ideal of all choices. For example, if you think Wake Staff is important, then that can be the first question you ask. Wake Staff means there is professional care giver staff on location all night. If your loved one is independent and does not have ‘night issues’, this might not be as important, but for most seniors, Wake Staff is important if for no other reason than the peace of mind if gives and the fact that if one of the other residents has a problem at two AM, your loved one need not get involved.

Some Adult Family Homes have a way to get on their waiting list, as well as a way to perhaps get a discount if you go straight to them on your initial contact. Get your name on a few waiting lists, and keep in touch.

Start packing what you need weeks ahead

A good Adult Family Home will have lots of everything a senior is going to need. All you will need is your personal items – everything from clothes to framed pictures of your grandkids – and this requires only a small case usually. Still it’s important to keep on top of this. The Big Move can be exciting, yes, but also a little bit emotional. Being able to take out those framed photos the moment your loved one enters their new bedroom for the first time can be the perfect panacea, and reaffirms what’s important in their life.

Get the kids involved in the moved and everyone should bring a gift

Even though most grandkids might prefer to sit at home and grind away on the Internet for the day, their very own grandparent is making a momentous move, and although these kids won’t quite get that today, they will look back at the event with great fondness. I remember being dragged to see a great aunt in a convent before I was even in my teens. I really did not enjoy the visits at the time, but the memories the visits left me with are now a window into my youth I would not trade for anything. Make sure your kids are there for the move. And likely, your own kids are not the only grandkids in the picture, so give everyone a chance to be involved. Make a party out of it. Most Adult Family Homes will not have the capacity to entertain dozens of kids, but perhaps you can keep that part of the visit short, and when you get home throw another party for all the kids to celebrate and support their grandparent’s move.

Get all clothes cleaned, pressed and ready for the move

There’s nothing worse than taking dirty clothes out of a suitcase, and nowhere is it worse when your loved one has just moved into their new place of abode.

I remember many, made decades ago, when we went blackberrying, my father would – I kid you not – dress up in a suit and tie for the occasion. He was careful about keeping his clothes in good shape, and I have photographic proof that he did this. For him, his suit was his dress up of choice. Me, I prefer to spend the day in pajamas, but I am definitely of a different generation! The point I make here is, many elderly people have very specific ideas about what they like to wear, and so, having all of their clothes ready for good use and presentation will be a nice thing indeed. Suits or such things may have to be carried separately, but having everything ship shape is definitely the way to go. Once arrived, get your loved one’s clothes into the right place, and everyone will be the better for it.

Entertainment system of choice?

As my father aged, he got more and more attached to his radio. It was HIS radio. While his children, of which I was one of course, preferred to glue themselves to the TV, my father’s radio was of great personal value and attachment to him. Whenever he was under pressure (and all seven of us had him under pressure a lot of the time) he’d escape away to a corner of the house with his radio. For many, a radio like this is hugely important and is a place to escape to when the pressure is on. A move to an Adult Family Home can be stressful, and it doesn’t take much to alleviate that stress if you know what needs to be done.

See you next week!