Checklist for Moving to Assisted Living

Moving, in general, can be a very stressful time in life. But, what if that move involves downsizing as well?!? That is often the case when moving yourself or a loved one into an assisted living community. However, there are ways to make this type of move less daunting.

As with any process, it is always a good idea to break things down into smaller steps. This helps the work to become more manageable.

With that in mind, we have compiled a checklist for moving to assisted living, broken down into categories. 

Checklist for Moving to Assisted Living

Deciding on the Right Community

  • Create and prioritize a personal list of what is important in a new residence. Make sure you consider location needs,  social interaction needs, healthcare needs, and other support needs for daily living activities.
  • Determine your financial capabilities and what you can afford to spend monthly. A financial planner might be a good resource for this step.
  • Identify the available communities in your surrounding area.
  • Review each community with your personal priorities list. A Senior Living Advisor can help you with this entire community search.

Planning your Healthcare Needs

  •  Make an appointment with all of your existing medical providers to determine if they will be able to provide continued care in the new location.
  • Identify any new medical providers in advance of the move.
  • Make sure that your prescriptions are all up-to-date.

Find the Best Moving Resources

  • Once you have determined your new community, ask them for recommendations on any moving companies.
  • If you are planning an estate sale, consider bringing a professional estate sale manager to coordinate the sales and the moving process.
  • If you are looking for a moving company on your own, read online reviews and check the Better Business Bureau.
  • Confirm the cost of the move up front.
  • Be sure the moving company is licensed and insured.


  • New spaces can fill up quickly, especially if you are downsizing. So prioritize your possessions.
  • Store/hide any family heirloom items and/or expensive items during the move process.
  • Clearly label everything for ‘Move’, ‘Storage’, ‘To Family’, ‘Sell’, or ‘Trash’
  • If you can, get a temporary storage facility to place items that you can not decide on. After the move, you will have a better idea of what can come with you and what you need to donate, give to a loved one, or throw away. 
  • And remember that older backs do not heal as quickly as they used to. Don’t attempt to move on your own.

Forwarding Addresses and other Logistical Items

  • Set up your mail forwarding through the U.S. Postal Services website form. You do not need to use a third-party for this change of address step.
  • List all recurring bills and correspondence so that you can update your payment and mailing info after the move.
  • Schedule to cancel all utility services at the current residence..
  • Send out your new address with an email or mail a note to loved ones and friends.
  • Add the new community contact info to the phones of any adult family members who you rely on (has a POA or medical support role)

Just before the Move

  • In the week before the move, confirm that all community paperwork has been completed and that there are no loose ends there.
  • Prior to moving day, make sure you have any access codes, gate codes, loading dock info necessary for the movers and family members.