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Here's to You: Tips on moving to a senior community

Despite the uncertainty in weather that March brings, spring is still in the air and waiting just around the corner. This time of year evokes feelings of excitement, new beginnings and a fresh start. In turn, these factors also contribute to the bustling atmosphere you will find during this season in senior communities, like WindSong.

When the all the dynamics align, it suddenly appears to be an ideal time for seniors to consider a move to a new community. Downsizing actually seems appealing, and the thought of a fresh start is very tempting. Following are a few tips for making the move, at just the right time:

- Don't wait too long. As a senior housing professional who leases apartments, the most common objection I hear is "I'm just not ready." Often, these people are approaching 90 years old and should have been "ready" for several years. Being hesitant and wanting to stay in a current home is understandable.

However, I have seen the same scenario played out many times - a senior postpones a move because he or she is "not ready" and a few months later, he or she ends up in the hospital. This could be due to a fall, stroke, broken bone or any number of things. The family and/or doctor decides the person can no longer live alone, and they have an emergency on their hands. A frantic search for an apartment that will fit their newfound needs ensues; they move belongings in within days and barely have time to breathe before they find themselves totally immersed in a new situation they weren't prepared for. This is very stressful and could have been completely avoided had they been more proactive in their approach to senior housing.

- Take your time. At WindSong, we allow new tenants ample time to transition into their new life. They can move belongings in slowly, over time, if they choose. This is often also very helpful in the task of downsizing, as new tenants are able to sort through their home, bring only what they want to the new apartment and deal with the rest later.

- Enlist help. Family and friends are so valuable during the moving process. Many times, they are more than willing to take over if new tenants are having difficulty during the move-in process. Some families are so helpful, they completely set up the new apartment, and when their loved one arrives, it already feels like home. If your friends or family are willing to help, let them. You can never have too much help when moving, and they only want to ensure the best for you.

- Don't be afraid of the real estate market. Homes are still selling and traffic is increasing. According Richard Phelps, realtor for Century 21 Dickinson Realtors, spring is the perfect time to list your home. Phelps also says not to worry if your older home is in need of updates -- this is something more and more buyers are willing to take care of. WindSong will host another real estate seminar with Phelps soon. Watch for details!

Interested in the apartments at WindSong? Floor plans are going fast. Call me at 333-6211 to schedule a tour.


Hayley McKeon is marketing coordinator at WindSong, part of the WoodsEdge senior living campus near Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.