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What To Do While You’re On a Senior Living Waitlist

An older woman smiles for the camera

After a long search and exploring several options, you’ve chosen a community, and now you’re waiting on your preferred floor plan to become available. That’s right, you’re on the community’s waitlist. So, what do you do now? Since you have the time, why not get everything prepared for the big day?

Plan For Your New Space

When you consider your new space, how much room you need and ways to make it fit your lifestyle, here are some things to consider.

Downsizing advice

  • Stay positive: If you feel yourself thinking too much about the work you have to do, focus on the life ahead of you. Think about all the new things you’ll be able to try and the people you’ll meet.
  • Start small: Start in an area with little emotional attachment, like your laundry room or linen closet.
  • Only one: If you find you have multiples of the same item (this is especially true in the kitchen), downsizing is the perfect time to select the one you use the most.
  • Your collections: Collecting can be a lot of fun, but a good downsizing tip is to narrow your collection down to a few pieces that represent the set. You can take also pictures of your entire collection and have them turned into a book or photo album.
  • Sorting: A good rule of thumb is, if you aren’t already using it or haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need it anymore. If you’re not ready to part with some items yet, here’s some storage tips.
  • Labels and notes: Try to label things for their destination (new house, family/friends, sale, donation or recycle/dispose).
  • Bonding time: Preparing for a move is a good time to connect with friends and family members. Invite them over to help you and tell stories about your favorite items. They can help you pack, and you can even pass on some of your favorite mementos.

Decorating tips for 2024

  • Retro mashup: This trend is about mixing various styles from the 60s to the 80s, an era that saw frequent and radical changes in design and architecture. There are no hard-and-fast rules, and you can cherry-pick your favorite colors, vintage furniture and design elements from recent history.
  • Undone maximalism: This home design trend is about making a space feel lived-in, functional and fun.
  • Scandinavian design: The focus here should be on functionality and clean lines combined with a little bit of fun.
  • Feature walls: Whether it’s a focal wall or a whole room, it’s a great and inexpensive way to bring about a deeper sense of character to your space.
  • Vintage lamps: 1950s Noguchi pendant lamps seem to be practically everywhere. You can also add in vintage lamps, but the more obscure, niche or unique, the better.
  • Statement artworks: Big, abstract and vibrant canvases can offer a punch of color and texture to a once-barren wall. Statement artworks are a way to instantly give your space some personality and are an easy talking point with guests.

Research Tax Breaks

One of the reasons you may have decided to move to a senior living community is for the financial benefits. If so, here’s some things to talk about with your tax advisor:

  • Tax advantages: The IRS has ruled that portions of both your entrance fee and monthly fee are deductible on your federal income return as prepayment of medical expenses.
  • Long-term care insurance: Long-term care insurance (LTCI) can help cover the costs of some types of health care not covered by Medicare. Like life insurance, the younger you are when you purchase LTCI, the less it will cost.
  • Home sale profits: If you’ve lived in your home for two or more of the past five years, you don’t have to pay taxes on profits of less than $250,000 — or, $500,000 for married seniors filing jointly. The profits from the sale of your home can be used to pay for senior living.

What Do You Want To Do First?

Every community has a calendar full of classes, clubs, committees, events and gatherings. As you start to prepare for your new life, see what interests you.

Plan Your Move

Luckily you have time to save money for movers and to start collecting boxes and other moving materials. You also have time to make sure your house is prepared to sell. To ensure you get the highest price for your home, here are some staging tips to consider:

  • Curb appeal: Make sure the buyer is excited about seeing your home. If your front door isn’t in tip top shape, paint it to give it a fresh look. Ensure you have proper lighting outside and get rid of all outside clutter.
  • Entryway: The entryway is the first room potential buyers see when they enter your home and the last one they see when they leave.
  • Living room: This is often the first room the buyers go through when touring your home. It’s also the place they want to envision themselves relaxing and entertaining. Declutter, pare down furniture and use lighting to make the room feel comfortable.
  • Kitchen: The kitchen is one of the most looked-at areas. Clear the kitchen countertop and island clutter and reduce the number of appliances you have out.
  • Main bedroom: Depersonalize the primary bedroom so that anyone can picture themselves comfortably sleeping there.
  • Bathroom: Ensure all the bathrooms are spotless. Update old lighting fixtures and the hardware on your bathroom cabinets. Consider painting the bathroom cabinetry too and investing in new shower curtains, rugs and bathmats.
  • Depersonalize: It’s a delicate balance between the cold feeling of a stark empty house and too many collectibles, wall hangings, wallpaper and other personal items.
  • Clean: Clean and organize your kitchen cabinets, drawers, pantry, refrigerator and microwave.
  • Brighten: Make sure the blinds and curtains are open and have lights and lamps on. Where possible, add more lighting to enhance the kitchen, living and bedroom areas.

Meet Your New Neighbors

Making new friends is cited by residents as one of the biggest reasons for moving into senior living. As a future resident, check to see if there are events you can and attend. It’s a great way to give your friendships a running start as well as an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the community’s lifestyle.

Explore The Neighborhood

Now that you know where you’ll be living, you can start exploring the nearby restaurants, shops and entertainment options. Then when you have friends and family over, if you don’t want to take advantage of the community’s amenities, you’ll know where to go.

Joining Our Waitlist Gives You Time To Prepare

If you’re not ready to move into a senior living community today, but know it’s in your future, consider joining our waitlist. To learn more, including about the benefits of moving to Freedom Village of Bradenton, use our Community Assistant chat feature or contact us here.