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  • Writer's pictureSusan Stanhope

5 Tips to Help Ease Your Elderly Parent Or Loved One Into A Retirement Community

Updated: Jan 5, 2021

It’s no secret that moving your parent or loved one from their beloved home to an assisted living facility or retirement community can evoke many feelings for both parties. Rather than proceeding without a plan, consider these tips and start the conversation now so that all parties involved have a voice.

Senior couple enjoying the outdoors

Ease into the approach

One recommendation is to discuss moving when things become difficult within the current living situation. For example, mom is having a more difficult time managing the necessary repairs on her home; or dad is unintentionally neglecting his health. While these issues are fresh in their mind it may be easier to approach the conversation of moving into a retirement community better suited to support their needs. This may also be a great time to further discuss the benefits of downsizing their belongings and simplifying their living spaces.

Create the desire

Living at home may have always seemed like a reality for your elder parent or loved one. Although that may be everyone's desire, sometimes we must consider an alternative plan. By virtually visiting some independent and assisted living communities, your parent/loved one can better visualize how warm and inviting these environments can actually be. We suggest viewing the video tours and picture galleries of some potential residences, using a tablet or computer with a large screen, to help provide a better visual. Also be sure to discuss the activities and amenities each location offers.

Elderly women washing dishes.

Adventure Awaits for Elder Adults

Moving doesn’t have to be overwhelming, you can turn it into an adventure!

Your loved one has likely accumulated many possessions over their lifetime. Now is a great time to ease into decluttering, and to preserve those treasures! Begin by sorting through some family photos or heirlooms. This may spark some memories and remind them of days gone by. Doing this will help provide some comfort and familiarity during the transition.

Here are some suggestions to get started:

  • Downsizing - consider limiting your storage items to a certain number of containers or storage bins. This will help in the final moving process.

  • Get help - Facing this decision can be draining, mentally, emotionally and physically. Let the professionals help lift this heavy burden. At Move Elders With Ease, this is exactly our expertise. We specialize in assisting elder adults and their families in the greater Triangle area (Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Chapel Hill) and Eastern North Carolina with their downsizing transitions. For those that need assistance elsewhere, the National Association of Senior Move Managers is a great resource to find a trusted Senior Move Manager®.

  • Go digital - Scan the pictures and important documents, and back them up.

  • Confidentiality - Scammers often target the elderly. Keep your family member’s banking information, Social Security Number, or other private information secure to help prevent the possibility of having a stolen identity.

Divide and Conquer

Now that you have had the conversation, created the visual for the future and spent some quality time visiting the past, the next step would be to facilitate some helping hands! is an excellent choice to help begin this process!

A few key ideas to include in a transition plan:

  • Take inventory - Furniture that holds sentimental value or is used every day will help to narrow down what needs to be kept and what can be sold or donated.

  • Assess the space - Creating a “to scale” drawing showing furniture placement will allow the elder to see what items fit safely in their new home and will ease their mind chatter!

  • Select a charity - Donating excess furniture and belongings to a thrift organization allows the elder to bless another family and may help them to feel a bit more control and self-worth by giving to those less fortunate.

Selling Your Loved One’s Home

This is another conversation that may require some professional input. If possible, it is best to market the home after the elder adult has moved and the home has been cleared of all belongings. Will the home need to be painted or repaired before being placed on the market? Or will it be cleaned and then sold “as is”? Will staging be needed to help potential buyers visualize the use of each room? These are all tasks and questions that will require some professional help and the process can go much more smoothly when you have a team on your side.

Ease your elderly parent or loved one into the idea of selling the home. How? By allowing Mom or Dad to be a vital part of the decision process and the adventure!

Now that you have a solid plan – just let us know if you’d like help to put it in place to achieve your goals!


About the Author

Susan Stanhope - Founder Move Elders With Ease
Susan Stanhope

Susan Stanhope is the Founder of Move Elders with Ease. She has a passion for seniors and enjoys helping them navigate the, sometimes stressful, downsizing process. She excels at providing emotional support and guidance to seniors and their families during the transition, whether that is merely downsizing to age in place or moving out of their long-standing family home. Her supreme organization skills simplify the senior downsizing process and make it less overwhelming.


Move Elders with Ease has been serving Seniors and their families in the Greater Triangle and Eastern North Carolina areas since 2009. Our compassionate staff, led by Susan Stanhope, eases the transition for seniors and helps you unclutter, pack and relocate. The Move Elders with Ease team of relocation experts has years of experience planning, managing and executing moves and home clean-outs.​ Move Elders with Ease is NASMM A+ Accredited. Our goal is to make your transition easier, and even enjoyable. We can't wait to meet you!

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