boxes for moving

Downsizing Tips for a Stress-Free Move to Assisted Living


Deciding where and when to start.

Determining what’s really necessary to keep–and what to donate or throw away.

Figuring out how to best preserve breakable or sentimental items.

Moving homes has the potential to be an overwhelming and stressful task, regardless of what age you are.

Once a senior and his or her family make the decision to move to an assisted living community, downsizing is the first step in making the move.

Fortunately, there is a way to go through this process with minimized stress.

With our years of experience assisting residents and their families, we have a few suggestions to minimize stress and make the process of downsizing a relatively positive one.

Read on to discover helpful tips and advice to help a loved one in your life downsize before moving to an assisted living community.

Start Early.

First things first–procrastinating and waiting until the last minute to start the downsizing and packing process will only add unnecessary stress.

Instead, start as early as possible and map out a timeline of what you want to accomplish by when.

Spacing out and breaking up the process will make things less rushed and easier to mentally digest.

Additionally, your first instinct may be to put everything into storage to deal with at a later date.

However, this can be a waste of money and only put off the inevitable.

Save money and reduce stress–go through the process sooner rather than later.

Be Realistic.

cluttered house(Source)

Paring down belongings can be difficult, especially when certain items are sentimental.

Of course, your loved one should bring along certain family heirlooms and other special and treasured items.

However, the more things your parent tries to fit into a smaller living space, the more cluttered and potentially dangerous it can be.

It’s time for you and your parent to get really honest about what will be necessary while living in an assisted living community.

As a suggestion, try to sort belongings based on whether they will be…

  • Needed on a daily basis in your parent’s new home.
  • Donated to a local thrift store or shelter.
  • Passed on to family members and younger generations.
  • If needed, placed into storage.

By paring down belongings, your parent will be able to…

  • Fully enjoy the items that he or she keeps.
  • Locate possessions more safely and easily.
  • Let go of additional items that could be both mental and physical clutter.

Offer Emotional Support.


Downsizing a home isn’t only physically exhausting–it has the potential to be emotionally taxing as well.

As your parent makes the transition to assisted living, he or she will need you to be as supportive and sensitive as possible.

Though your patience may be tested, remember that if you remain positive, the more likely your parent will, too.

While you spend your days sorting through belongings with your mother or father, talk to them about the exciting aspects of making the move to an assisted living community.

From the range of exciting social activities to the greater ease in performing activities of daily living, keep your mother and father engaged and looking forward to their new home!

Another way to get your loved one excited about the positive aspects of making the move to assisted living is to set up a tour of the community.

Contact The Ashford on Broad, The Ashford of Mt. Washington, or The Ashford at Sturbridge (opening in fall 2018) today to set up a tour of our wonderful communities.

elderly lady

5 Tips for a Smooth Transition to Senior Living

Making the move to a senior living community is often a highly recommended step to preserve the well-being for individuals and their families.

That said, big changes or shifts in life will initially require you and your loved one to go through some challenging processes.

Moving to a senior living community can be significantly less stressful for your aging parents if certain steps are taken.

In this post, we’re sharing five helpful tips to help make the transition to senior living as smooth as possible.

1. Start Downsizing Now.

elderly lady


Whether your parent has lived in the same house for 5 years or 50 years, the moving and downsizing process can be an overwhelming task for everyone involved.

Which is why the sooner you start downsizing, the better.

Break the process into smaller tasks and plan it out week by week.

Figure out which items will be necessary in your parent’s new home versus what can be donated, passed down, or, if needed, placed in storage.

This way, your parent will be more easily able to emotionally work through letting go of items he or she will no longer need once living in a senior living community.

2. Make the Living Space Feel like Home.

Just because your loved one will be moving into a new residence does not mean the new setting won’t be a new home.

One way to help your parent feel at home in the new space is to plan out the furniture layout and decorative items in a way that will put him or her at ease.

If possible, you can even mimic the previous living space and arrange items as they were in the past.

At The Ashford communities, we offer a range of floor plans to meet the needs of residents.

Whether your parent wants a full kitchen to cook meals or a patio to enjoy afternoon tea, your parent can select a plan that matches the desired lifestyle.

Click the links below to view floorplans at…

To receive information on floor plans at The Ashford at Sturbridge, opening in fall 2018, contact us here.

3. Encourage Involvement in Community Activities.

Perhaps you know your mother is happiest when she is singing along to her favorite songs–and, therefore, the senior living choir group would be a terrific match.

Or your father’s mind is most stimulated and engaged when discussing the recent novel he read–making the community book club discussion group an excellent extracurricular choice.

Whatever your parent’s passions may be, encourage him or her to sign up and try out a range of community activities as soon as he or she moves in.

Not only are these activities great ways to engage the body and mind–but they are also helpful when it comes to meeting other residents and becoming socially involved right away.

At The Ashford communities, new residents can seamlessly get involved in exciting weekly activities, such as regular outings, group games (such as Mahjong–a resident favorite!), special dining events, group exercise classes, and more.

Whether at The Ashford on Broad, The Ashford of Mt. Washington, or The Ashford at Sturbridge, engaging in these offerings will enable your mother or father to feel engaged and happy after making the move to senior living.

4. Schedule Family Visits.



Even though your parent is making the move into a new social community, he or she will have more peace of mind with scheduled family visits.

Being able to look forward to seeing familiar faces will make all the difference for your parent as he or she transitions into a new home.

Make sure that different family members–whether they be grandchildren, children, siblings, or extended family–make time to visit your loved one within the first few days or weeks.

Be sure to let your parent know when to expect each visit–hang up a calendar in the new living space that designates when loved ones will be stopping by.

5. Develop a Relationship with the Caregivers.



At The Ashford communities, each of our team members has a compassionate heart, a great attitude, and past experience providing senior care.

Our caregivers ensure personalized care and take the necessary time to get to know each resident as a whole person.

Developing a bond with your parent’s caregiver will give both you and your parent greater peace of mind and ease.

The experience of making the move to senior living will be rewarding–but the transition process will be smoother if you incorporate these five tips.

If you have any questions regarding transitioning to senior living, we invite you to contact The Ashford communities, and we’ll be happy to answer them.

pensive elderly woman on the background of autumn leaves

4 Facts About Senior Isolation That Will Surprise You

As your loved one ages, your concern for his or her physical safety and wellness may increase.

Whether it be preventing falls or ensuring that your loved one has a balanced diet, there are plenty of factors that affect his or her health.

One factor that has more impact than you may think is senior isolation and loneliness.

Aside from negatively affecting one’s mental well-being, senior isolation has also been linked to a decline in physical health.

Unfortunately, as people age, their likelihood of living alone only increases.

Whether it be the passing of friends and spouses, retirement, or an increasing lack of mobility, there are a variety of reasons why your parent may be at risk for loneliness.

Here are four surprising facts about senior isolation that demonstrate how detrimental living alone can be–even with hired help or family members that make regular visits.

#1: Suffering from loneliness elevates one’s risk of developing dementia.

From quickly recalling the names of friends from college to remembering where we’ve placed our reading glasses, losing long- and short-term memory is often a natural part of aging.

However, there’s a point where memory loss becomes more of a serious matter.

According to a Dutch study that appears in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, those who suffer from loneliness have a 64% greater risk of developing dementia.

A diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s often results in a higher safety risk and lower quality of life in general.

Being in the company of others is critical when it comes to preserving life memories, personality, and other important characteristics that dementia can deteriorate.

#2: Illnesses and conditions that increase mortality are linked to senior isolation.

Taking vitamins, following a healthy diet, and incorporating a healthy dose of physical exercise in a daily routine may not be enough if your loved one is living alone.

Environment and opportunities for social engagement are just as important when it comes to preventing disease and illness.

According to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, social isolation has been linked to a higher risk of mortality in adults ages 52 and up.

Often, this is due to a correlation between social isolation and serious illnesses–such as chronic lung disease, arthritis, impaired mobility, and depression.

In the interest of maintaining optimal health and a longer lifespan, it’s important to create conditions for social engagement and interactions.

Living among others and having easy opportunities to participate in social activities make it easy to ward off loneliness and stay healthy.

#3: People who are socially isolated or lonely are more likely to report risky health behaviors.

older lady smoking

Preparing meals and conducting other activities of daily living are an important aspect of living a high-quality and healthy life.

The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing found that people who are socially isolated or lonely are more likely to engage in behaviors such as poor diet, lack of physical activity, and smoking.

On the other hand, when people live in a community with lots of activity, they are more likely to follow healthy habits–especially when meals are prepared by others and exercise programs are just a few steps away.

#4: Socially isolated seniors are more pessimistic about the future.

Friends, family members, and acquaintances we interact with on a regular basis can easily be taken for granted.

When our social interactions are diminished, our quality of life decreases, and so does our outlook on life.

The National Council on Aging has found that seniors experiencing social isolation are “More likely to predict their quality of life will get worse over the next 5-10 years, are more concerned about needing help from community programs as they get older, and are more likely to express concerns about aging in place.”

Finding aging solutions that enable seniors to easily access a social community of peers ensures that their quality of life will only improve as time passes.

One may think that regular visits from family or caregivers at home will suffice and an assisted living community isn’t necessary, but evidence suggests otherwise.

According to T. Byram Karasu, MD, at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, even when a senior is being taken care of by family caregivers, there is often little attention paid to deep, engaging communication between a senior and the rest of the family.

Caregivers are often so busy and overwhelmed from their daily responsibilities that they don’t have the capacity to meet a senior’s emotional and social needs.

At The Ashford communities, residents have numerous opportunities to engage with others.

Whether it be joining their fellow residents for an exercise class or engaging in meaningful conversation with his or her caregiver over lunch, there’s minimized risk of senior isolation.

Contact us today to schedule a tour for you and/or your loved one!

Explore Assisted Living Housing Options at The Ashford Communities


Home. It’s a concept that almost every one of us, despite our background, language, or nationality, can understand.

Think for a few minutes about what comes to mind when you think of a home.

Perhaps it’s a place you can relax and feel safe?

Or a space where you practice the necessary rituals in order to start and end each day?

Maybe it’s a space where you can reflect on the past and feel inspired about the future?

However you choose to define “a home,” more often than not people seek a space where they can relax, feel comfortable, and feel like they belong.

At The Ashford on Broad and The Ashford of Mt. Washington, we’ve put careful thought and attention into designing resident living spaces so residents can seamlessly embrace it as their home.

Prior to moving in, your parent will have the opportunity to select his or her private senior housing accommodations from a variety of floor plans.

In this post, we’re providing an overview of the various housing options our communities offer, their associated amenities, and how to select the best fit for your parent before a move to one of our dynamic communities.

The Ashford of Mt. Washington Housing Options

Studio Suite: With walk-in showers in the bathroom and mini-fridge and microwave in the kitchenette, our studio suites provide residents with a manageable yet spacious living space. The suite is also cable-ready for those times throughout the day when mom or dad wants to consume the news or watch a favorite show.

One-Bedroom Suite: For residents who would like a larger space and the option to cook full meals, our one-bedroom suites are the perfect choice. The full kitchens include a stove and oven, and the living room provides a desirable space for socializing with visiting family or fellow resident neighbors. As with the studio suites, the one-bedroom suites are cable-ready and include energy-efficient lighting.

To view suite floor plans for our Ashford of Mt. Washington community, click here.

The Ashford on Broad Housing Options

Studio Suite: Our smallest housing option at The Ashford on Broad, the studio suites are for residents that prefer to have a patio or balcony (complete with large French doors) versus a more spacious indoor living space. The kitchenette includes a mini-fridge with enough space for basic food items, making it a good fit for residents who would like to more heavily rely on our meal plans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Deluxe Studio Suite: Our deluxe studio option is a good choice for residents who want more indoor space than the studio suites, but aren’t interested in our one-bedroom options. A large picture window provides outdoor views and natural lighting, and the bathroom includes a walk-in shower. The deluxe studio suites also include a full refrigerator in the kitchenette, versus the mini-fridge that comes with our basic studio suites.

One-Bedroom Suite: As with our studio suites, our one-bedroom suites include a patio or balcony. The difference is that these suites include a separate living room from the bedroom, perfect for entertaining and hosting visitors.

Deluxe One-Bedroom Suite: The deluxe one-bedroom suites at The Ashford on Broad are an excellent choice for residents who prioritize maximum indoor space complete with large picture windows. As with our one-bedroom suites, the deluxe suite also includes a bathroom with walk-in shower and a kitchenette with a full-size refrigerator.

To view suite floor plans for The Ashford on Broad community, click here.

Whether your parent selects a studio suite or a one-bedroom suite, he or she will be able to decorate the apartment in whatever way he or she chooses–making it feel like home.

If you have questions regarding pricing, layout, and beyond, our team members at The Ashford communities are here to provide answers. Contact us today.

Worried your parent can’t afford assisted living? Check out our free checklist and discover just how affordable it can be.


Help! Mom Doesn’t Think She Needs Assisted Living

Assisted living communities can provide dynamic settings to truly thrive as one ages up.

However, making a shift in one’s life can be challenging–even if the shift will be rewarding and beneficial in the long term.

As an adult child of an aging parent, you may find that your mother or father will insist that assisted living isn’t needed, and that he or she is perfectly safe, happy, and comfortable living at home.

You may be wondering what you can do to help your loved one begin to see eye-to-eye with you when it comes to making a move to assisted living.

If your parent doesn’t think he or she needs assisted living, here are some helpful tips for addressing the challenge…

Ask your Mom why she thinks assisted living isn’t necessary.

Sometimes your mother simply wants to feel heard, and her opinion on the matter affirmed.

Giving your parent a chance to voice concerns provides you an opportunity to constructively address and work through any issues or fears she may have regarding the concept of moving to an assisted living community.

Oftentimes, these fears can be addressed and you can have the opportunity to clear up any misconceptions she may have about the concept of an assisted living community.

Simply giving your parent the chance to explain why he or she doesn’t think it’s needed can open up the conversation to potentially see things in a new light.

Evaluate your parent’s safety.

Perhaps your father has experienced one or more falls in recent months.

Or he’s left the stove on one too many times.

Gently addressing your father’s lack of safety in his current living situation can help him realize that a move to an assisted living community can grant him greater peace of mind.

No need to make your parent feel less independent or dignified.

Instead, remind him that assisted living communities make daily tasks such as bathing and dressing easier and safer, enabling him to continue living an enriched life.

Evaluate your parent’s social interaction.


Research has found that socialization for seniors is essential when it comes to their quality of life.

In fact, the University of Miami’s Global Business Forum conducted a study that concluded that for seniors, strong social ties are more influential in preventing illnesses than genetic backgrounds.

Therefore, ensuring your parent is surrounded with engagement opportunities is critical.

When discussing assisted living with your parent, be sure to highlight the positive aspects of having a community of fellow residents and team members just a few steps away.

If your mother realizes she won’t have to drive 15 minutes away to meet up with friends for a game of bridge, or play phone tag with that friend she’s been meaning to meet for lunch, she may end up changing her mind.

Evaluate your ability to provide care, or evaluate current caregivers.

If your loved one expects that you or other at-home caregivers can provide sufficient assistance, it’s important to openly weigh the pros and cons with him or her.

Oftentimes, family members don’t have the time or training to assist on a daily basis with tasks like bathing, dressing, and medication management.

Moving to a senior living community can ensure that time your loved one spends with family members is higher quality and more focused on engagement and conversation versus caregiving.

Additionally, although at-home professional caregivers are trained to assist with important tasks, this solution still lacks the significant socialization opportunities and easy access to enriching activities that assisted living communities provide.

Bring in other family members.

A chorus of voices can at times be more effective than a single voice.

Although you don’t want your mother or father to feel overly pressured, it can be helpful to bring in other family members to provide gentle encouragement in considering assisted living.

From highlighting the social opportunities to emphasizing the benefits of help with activities of daily living (ADLs), ask your family members to engage your parent in a conversation about the benefits of such communities. 

Have multiple conversations with your parent; don’t just make an executive decision.

Changing one’s mind and being open to change take time—give your parent the time and space to come around to the idea.

Making a quick executive decision can backfire and cause more issues than you want.

Instead, you may be surprised by your loved one’s thought process and decision after given the chance to contemplate the pros and cons a bit further.

Sometimes simply seeing an assisted living community in action can turn the wheels in your loved one’s mind and help him or her see how wonderful the option could be.

We’d love to host you and your parent for a tour of The Ashford on Broad and The Ashford of Mt. Washington—schedule your tour today!

Home Health vs. Assisted Living: Making the Right Choice

At one time, your monthly visits to Dad were enough to help him maintain independence.

But now…mowing the lawn and doing small repairs around the house can’t provide the care he needs.

If you recognize your parent requires more involved support, such as medication management or prepared meals, you may be debating between home health vs. assisted living.   

Before you make a decision, it’s important to understand what each option offers and how they differ. Even if your parent has already applied for home health services, you’ll want to keep on reading to ensure you’ve made the right choice.

In this article, we’re going to dive into home health vs. assisted living so you can make an informed decision for your loved one.

What Home Health Provides

To put it simply, home health agencies offer scheduled appointments at your loved one’s home.

Staff members hired by the company will visit your parent, providing the caregiving services you’ve agreed upon.

Home health agencies can give your parent…

  • Assistance for bathing, dressing, or other activities.
  • Meal preparation and housekeeping.
  • Medication management, therapy, and medical support.
  • Transportation and other services.

What Assisted Living Provides

When considering home health vs. assisted living, you may be surprised to learn that assisted living provides many of the same services as home health agencies.

While assisted living isn’t designed for seniors who need skilled nursing care, it does provide comprehensive support services such as…  

  • Assistance with the activities of daily living (such as dressing, grooming, and more).  
  • Daily meals, laundry, housekeeping, and maintenance.  
  • Medication management and therapy services.

Assisted living communities usually include on-site amenities, such as a beauty salon or library.

Most significantly, assisted living can transform your loved one’s daily routine with regular social events and outings to enjoy with friends.

Home Health vs. Assisted Living

Given the similarities between home health and assisted living, you may wonder what distinguishes the two from each other.

However, there’s a clear difference between home health vs. assisted living. Here are a few important facts you should know…

  1. Home health can be unpredictable compared to assisted living.

It’s a fact.

Relying on home health agencies can create unpredictability and instability for your loved one. As Home Care Pulse explains, your parent may experience multiple caregivers or visits that start late, end early, or simply never happen.  

With assisted living, your loved one’s care won’t be affected by factors like road traffic, ensuring greater predictability for your parent.

  1. With home health, strangers will visit your loved one’s home compared to the familiarity of assisted living caregivers.

In 2015, Forbes reported that for temporary jobs with “a median wage less than $15 per hour, Home Health Aide…is expected to see the greatest growth, 15{66428b7e0c8aff20c6fe525529a828ba776cb26d03e1544c2af380e334db2dbd}.”

However, temporary workers can mean unfamiliar faces for your parent and increased risk.

In contrast, the structure of an assisted living community can provide your loved one with a greater sense of stability and better quality care.

  1. Home health visits temporarily relieve isolation while assisted living care provides consistent social interaction.

Home health visits are a form of social interaction for your parent.

The problem is…a few hours from an aide isn’t enough to remove your parent’s social isolation, much less provide the same benefit as a lively lunch with friends.

Thanks to community meals, events, and activities, assisted living gives Mom the continuous interaction she needs to avoid loneliness and enjoy her golden years.  

  1. Home health workers aren’t around 24/7 while assisted living caregivers are.  

Let’s face it. Your loved one’s needs don’t always follow the home health agency’s schedule.

When Mom suddenly requires immediate help for safety, there’s no guarantee the home health worker will be at her house.

The good news is, with assisted living, help is nearby…every hour of every day.  

Deciding between the Two

When it comes to choosing between home health vs. assisted living, there are a variety of factors to consider.

However, you can simplify your decision by analyzing your parent’s current state of independence.

If your parent is primarily independent—but needs some occasional assistance—look further into your home health options. If a few visits a week won’t provide the level of physical safety and emotional support your parent needs, consider assisted living.  

But perhaps the real reason it’s difficult to choose between home health services and assisted living care comes down to a different factor—the cost of assisted living.

There’s no reason to let expensive assisted living rates pressure you into choosing a senior care option that doesn’t fit your parent’s needs.  

At The Ashford, we offer affordable assisted living, providing your loved one with high-quality care at a price that reflects his or her financial resources.

To learn more and experience our communities, schedule a time to visit today.