Helpful Relocation Checklist when Downsizing

When deciding to relocate, there are a variety of senior communities to consider. Having so many choices helps ensure that you can find the very best setup for you or your loved one. (See Harmony’s recent blog article on downsizing home options for details.)


After the decision has been made on what kind of residential housing is the perfect fit, keep this checklist in mind as you tour different communities. These guidelines can help you decide how well each location matches your needs, which will help you narrow the list and finalize a selection for a new home!


Services and Medical Care:

Your new home should be able to take care of all of your needs, so fact-checking their medical services is of the utmost importance. Knowing that you’ll have all of the professional care you need is great for your overall peace of mind.


  • Does the community have a clear process for responding to medical emergencies?
  • Are the residents equipped with written care plans, or are there any specialized care units?
  • What types of personal care services (meal prep, bathing, light housework) are available?


Contracts and Finances:

An easy-to-understand system for monthly rent and other fees and services helps with any move. While cost isn’t the only factor that will influence your decision, the details are definitely worth investigating.


  • What does the rent include—and is there a security deposit?
  • Are the written admission and discharge policies clear and concise?
  • Does the community recommend any programs to help with service costs?



Another added value for your new community will be its unique safety elements. Tour the facility and jot down any notes for these often overlooked, but very helpful, features.


  • Can residents easily travel throughout the facility with wheelchairs or walkers?
  • Are the hallways well-lit, with nonskid flooring—and are exits easy to find?
  • Does your new home have emergency call buttons and handrails in the bathroom?



Of course, there are other amenities that might weigh in more than the general safety features. The quality of life rating will extend to a variety of other fun details, too.


  • What does each unit include—and can you bring your own furniture or decorate on your own?
  • Are there transportation services available on-site, or other means to get a quick ride?
  • Do the meal plan options meet or exceed your expectations, and are snacks readily available?



The overall ambience of the community may be harder to rank on paper, but a good tour and taking stock of your gut reaction can help you find the place that feels just like home!


  • Is the overall appearance of the residence cheerful, clean, and well-maintained?
  • Are there plenty of common areas and space outdoors for residents to enjoy together?
  • Does the community have a good location that’s safe and close to other commercial sites?



Finding a good match with your care providers will help make each day more enjoyable. Try to analyze some of these work environment specifics to make sure the staff feel at ease in their work.


  • What is the overall staff-to-resident ratio? (Do staff members seem stressed or overworked?)
  • Is the staff regularly completing continuing education and other training certifications?
  • Do you notice the staff interacting with residents by name, and are they friendly?



Last but not least, a great indicator that you’ve found the community that will be just right for you is if the residents already feel like potential new friends. Chatting with a few residents can help you assess the community, but if that’s not possible, watching from a distance can also do the trick.


  • Do residents seem content and happy in the community?
  • Are there plenty of options for social activities to connect with residents?
  • Does the facility feel like a close-knit neighborhood where you’d like to belong?


That last question is often the key to your relocation checklist! If you can answer yes to that, then you’re well on your way to having a great start in your new home. Along the way, remember that Harmony Senior Relocation Services is here to help!


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