moving to a senior residence

Checklist for Seniors Moving Into a Retirement Home

You’ve lived in your home for most of your life and it’s now time to settle down elsewhere. Moving to a retirement home is beneficial to most seniors as it can make their daily life safer and easier. Moving to a retirement home is no easy task, here’s the only checklist you need as a senior who’s taking a new direction in life. 

MovingWaldo's Senior Moving Checklist

How to Choose a Retirement Home

1. Proximity to Loved Ones

A retirement home will make daily tasks easier by providing you with support. Yet, being in proximity to loved ones is excellent for moral support and in case you need anything. The simple fact of having your loved ones nearby is reassuring for most seniors. 

2. First Impressions

When visiting the retirement home for the first time, consider your first impressions as they are the key to feeling comfortable in your new environment.

  • Are you greeted warmly upon entering? 
  • Does the home look clean?
  • Does the staff look happy?
  • Do the residents look at ease?
  • Is the flow running smoothly? 
  • Do things feel rushed?
  • Are there many activities to do?
  • What is your gut telling you?

3. Living Space

When choosing a retirement home, you should not only consider the size of your personal living space, but also the size of the common areas. 

Your personal living space should: fit your furniture, be conveniently located in the building, have built in safety gear and anything else you use on a daily basis.

The common areas should: not be too crowded, have easy access to bathrooms, have cleared pathways and have comfortable seating.

4. Pricing

What Is the Average Monthly Cost of Living in a Retirement Home?


The average monthly cost of living in a retirement home is $2975.

The monthly pricing of living in a retirement home depends on:

  • Private or subsidized retirement home
  • Meal plans included or not
  • Type of services included
  • Location
  • Housekeeping included or not
  • New or old building
  • Renovated or not 
  • Independent or assisted living 

(*comfort life)

5. Amenities: Inclusions and Exclusions

Inclusions and exclusions will play a significant role in your daily life at the retirement home. It’s important to determine your independent abilities, what you may need assistance with and what you want to do on your free time.

Amenities usually included:

  • Pool and gym access
  • Daily group activities in common area
  • Security system and daily check ins
  • Game rooms
  • Library
  • Electricity

Additional amenities to consider including:

  • Meal plans 
  • Insurance
  • Housekeeping 
  • Personal care assistance
  • Pet fees
  • Beauty services
  • Wireless panic button 
  • Parking
  • Storage
  • Landline phone
  • WiFi
  • Cable

*May vary 

Bonus Tip: Visit Multiple Retirement Homes

Finding the right retirement home is quite the challenge. Visit multiple retirement homes and compare the advantages and disadvantages of each to make your final decision. You want to feel good in your new home. 

Decluttering Your Home

The retirement home you will be moving to will most likely be smaller than the space you have now. Decluttering can help ease your transition. Here are a few decluttering tips before moving to a retirement home. 

  • Gift what you can’t keep to friends and family: you’ll feel better knowing that the possessions that once brought you joy can now bring joy to someone you care for.
  • Gather what you absolutely must keep and then sort out the rest.
  • Pack large items first to give yourself a sense of progress.
  • Digitize DVDs, CDs and photos to save
  • Donate to a charitable organization and know that your possessions are going to a good cause.
  • Hire a junk removal company to do the heavy lifting for you.

How to Make Downsizing Less Painful

Downsizing is an emotional time as it is a reminder of so many past events and memories. To make downsizing less painful, release your emotional attachment to your possessions by acknowledging that they have served you well in the past and accept that they can no longer come with you on this next step of your life. Also, remember that while your space may be smaller, it will be more convenient and more adapted to your current needs. 

Planning the Move

Renting a Moving Truck vs Hiring Movers  

Renting a moving truck

Hiring movers

More control over possessions

Possession insurance available 

Physical effort required

Higher budget required

More flexibility 

Quicker move 

Where to Buy Moving Supplies

Need moving supplies, but you don’t want to put all the effort in? On MovingWaldo SHOP you can order pre-made kits and moving supplies that will be delivered right to your door for free

List of Moving Supplies Offered by MovingWaldo:

• Cardboard boxes
• Tape, markers and screwdrivers
• Packing supplies (wrapping paper & packing paper)
• Mattress bag
• Moving kits

Moving Day Tips

  • Ask for help from friends and family.
  • Tell the retirement home when you’ll be moving in.
  • If applicable, book the elevator.
  • Place furniture and personal items similarly to how they were in the previous living space to avoid feeling disoriented.
  • Prepare a bag with all the basic necessities (medication, first day essentials, change of clothes, snacks).

Changing Your Address When Moving to a Retirement Home

Changing your address when moving to a retirement home is especially important as it will ensure you don’t miss out on things like your benefit payments and your magazine subscriptions. 


  • Voter registration
  • Driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Hunting and fishing permit
  • Government agencies and organizations


  • Pharmacy prescription transfer
  • Health card
  • Health insurance
  • Hospital card
  • Medical clinic
  • Health specialist (physio, nutritionist)


  • Electricity, water and gas provider
  • Internet, landline and cable provider
  • Mobile phone provider
  • Home and car insurance provider 
  • Bank
  • Home security system


  • Mail forwarding
  • State/provincial retirement service
  • Organizations for retirees
  • Streaming services
  • Rewards cards
  • Library
  • Accountant

MovingWaldo Is Here to Simplify Your Address Change!

Want to save time on paperwork? MovingWaldo offers a free change of address service allowing you to change your address with multiple service providers and organizations all in one place. Not only this, but MovingWaldo also offers address change guides and address change checklists to help you organize your move. 

*Currently only available in Canada

Discovering the Neighborhood

One of the last things to do before moving into the retirement home is to discover the neighborhood to familiarize yourself with the amenities nearby.

Locate these amenities when discovering the neighborhood:

  • Grocery stores (ask if they deliver)
  • Parks and walking trails
  • Hospitals and emergency clinics
  • Pharmacies (ask if they deliver)
  • Senior activities & and senior groups
  • Public and private transit options (locate bus stops)
  • Shopping centers


Moving to a retirement home can be stressful, but only if you’re disorganized. By following all the tips listed above, your move will go smoothly and you’ll be happy to be in your new place. Take it easy and don’t overthink things. Read testimonials from seniors living at the home and talk to them if possible. While this will be a huge change, remember that it is for the best and in the long run you’ll be happier to be where you are. 

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