7 Tips for Moving into Personal Care

7 Tips for Moving into Personal Care

7 Tips for Moving into Personal Care

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Lyndon House at ECHWhen it’s time for an older adult to move into a personal care community, like Lyndon House at Episcopal Church Home, there are various ways to help them make that transition.

A main focus of living at Lyndon House is that residents receive just the right amount of assistance they need, which lets them “age in place” while living in a beautiful community and enjoying life and their neighbors.

But making a transition to a retirement community—like any new home—can be difficult because, after perhaps decades of living somewhere, things will change. However, there will be many positives for someone living in a personal care household, such as greater proximity to their new friends, no stress about things connected with being a homeowner, and assistance in many ways, including transportation and daily needs.

We have seven tips for helping smooth the way for your loved one. Here they are:

1. Allow plenty of time to declutter

All those possessions in that four-bedroom home weren’t gathered in a day, and most people cannot sort and organize them over a couple of weekends – not without harming the feelings of their loved ones. While it’s easier to decide about getting rid of somebody else’s possessions than your own, it’s much more difficult for the owner. One man who recently moved in told us that downsizing – or ‘rightsizing’ – was the most difficult thing he had done in his life. He wasn’t joking. On the other hand, once they have decluttered, many people consider it an unburdening or a lightening of their load.

2. Identify the most prized items first

Something that makes moving into a personal care household like Lyndon House on the Episcopal Church Home campus (thread to that blog after it is posted), where the apartments are smaller than the loved one’s previous home, is keeping some of the items that mean the most. Maybe it’s the coffee table they purchased as newlyweds Maybe it’s a family quilt. A key question that must be asked is “how important is this item to me to find space in my smaller space?”

3. Give away and save – in an innovative way

One less painful way to reduce the possessions is to give them to family or friends. Some people give away items they must depart with to family and friends. Some have hosted dinners where they gathered items, particularly for their families, and invited their loved ones to claim items. But a key when doing this is not feeling hurt if nobody wants much, which can be difficult. But it’s important to remember: Different generations treasure different things, and younger generations are less into chinaware than their elders were. Afterward, the remaining items can be given away or sold. Before you give away items, there’s a way to get rid of things and keep them simultaneously: Take nice photographs of them and have them compiled into a book you can treasure. Here are posts about that: Creating Photo Books, storing and organizing photos; Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Heirloom Book; and OverTheHillSisters.

4. Be empathetic

It can be easy to undervalue the emotion they’re feeling with the ideas of decluttering and moving. Do your best to relate to their feelings. That transistor radio looks like junk, but holds many baseball seasons of memories. They didn’t get a newer radio because Dad bought it for them, and the item is tied to precious memories. Could this be an opportunity to learn about Mom or Dad, asking questions you may someday wish you had? What was it like in their old neighborhood? What was it about Dad that attracted Mom to him? While talking, you can also focus on things that will remain the same in their life, even after the move. And some things likely will get better. For example, they’ll have friends living in apartments down the hall, instead of a few houses away, if not farther.

5. Use the floorplans

When deciding whether to keep that sofa, a key question is: Will it fit along that wall and beneath the window? This can be made easier by retirement communities that have floorplans to help you out. Lyndon House’s floorplans are here. Communities also make it possible for you to get an apartment’s dimensions in a prospective retirement community.

6. Get professional help

Once you’ve determined what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of, there are companies, such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK? that remove all kinds of items and materials, including old furniture and electronics and promise to dispose of your stuff responsibly for a fee. You may also consider donating or recycling when possible. Other companies help with the many details of moving into smaller apartments. ECH residents have found three local companies helpful for either downsizing or moving: Transitioning Services, Smooth Transitions, and Simply Shift LLC.

7. Be there for them

During the process, your presence can be the greatest gift. You’re a constant in their life. It’s natural for them to be concerned living in a personal care neighborhood will leave them isolated and lonely. This could be among the most important opportunities between you ever. Spend quality time together, not as an obligation, but as a treasure. Ask questions about things you’ll don’t know about their lives or have had the time to ask. 


Making a transition to a retirement community can be difficult because, after decades of living in a home, things will change. Helping your loved one step by step with these tips will help the process and change be less overwhelming.  Through the process, many begin to see the positives of living in a personal care household. Making new friends, no stress connected with being a homeowner, and help with transportation and daily needs are all rewards of living in a new environment.  Living in personal care can free you from your current burden to have time to create new memories with your loved one.

Scheduling a visit is the best way to determine if a personal care setting is the best option for your loved one. If you would like information about our personal care community, please get in touch with Elizabeth Pace at (502) 273-5481 or email her at epace@erslife.org.


View our floor plans here:


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Mike Rutledge

Mike Rutledge

Mike Rutledge has been Content Marketing Specialist for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS) since early 2022. He writes articles, blogs and other information to inform people about things happening at ERS’ retirement communities of Marjorie P. Lee an... Read More >

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