You’ve made the decision to move to a retirement community. You did your research, visited the ones you were interested in and made a decision based on what matters most.
Now what? You’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed, a little trepidatious, and maybe even some sadness for a chapter ending. But there’s a new chapter beginning that can be wonderful and exciting, filled with new experiences and new friendships.
“It’s natural for us to feel a little fearful of the unknown, but making Berwick on the Lake your new home will be a decision that you won’t regret,” says Kat Theus, Community Relations Manager at Berwick on the Lake. “Rest assured that we will work with you to make sure that your transition will be as smooth and seamless as possible.”
Berwick on the Lake has put together a checklist to assist you through the transition.
Keep in mind that there may be waitlists, so it’s best to check with your new home for approximate timelines. If you sell before you can take possession of your new suite, you may need a Plan B in place. If you’re still in the early stages of planning a move (a year or so away), now is the time to begin your downsize.
“Start to give away those items that you no longer need or want, donate clothing, knick-knacks, extra dishes. It’s less overwhelming when you don’t have to do these things last minute and will give you time to really think of what is important to you,” Theus says. “Remember, you can always take photos of everything as a memento to keep. If you require help and family or friends are unavailable, we can suggest downsizing companies to assist you.”
Once you’ve chosen a suite:
- Set up a move-in date with your mover so you have a goal to work towards. Please note that you will want to ensure that your moving company has a valid WCB Certificate and can provide proof of insurance. “We can recommend a preferred mover who understands Berwick’s policies and protocols.” Once you have a date, it will be easier to set smaller goals such as when to be packed up, when to cancel services, etc. Let your Berwick representative know the date you’ve chosen.
- Collect boxes and packing supplies (often the mover can provide these). Start to downsize. In most cases, you’ll have to make some decisions as to what to keep and what to give away. If you have family and friends who want items, now is the time to pass them on. “Many charities in town will gratefully accept donations as well — we have a list of charities who can pick up items for your convenience. If you have items you prefer to sell, you may consider online (Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji), or there are auction houses and estate sellers who can help you. If you’d like more information, please ask us,” Theus says.
- If you’re renting, remember to give your appropriate notice. If you’re selling, you’ll have to coordinate your move-in with the new owner’s possession date. If you’re leaving your home vacated for a time, make sure to let your insurance company know, as there may be some revisions you will have to make to your policy.
- Bring us at least one set of linens (sheets, pillowcases, towels, kitchen linens) a few days prior to your move so that you have one set ready to go. Other items can be labelled once you arrive.
- Choose a date with your Berwick representative to do your move-in paperwork. “We’ll provide you a list of what is required for paperwork day.”
- Transfer cable and internet services. “We can assist with this, and help point you in the right direction of which services to cancel.”
- Provide a change of address to Canada Post. “If you’d like, we can provide you with Berwick branded postcards that you can fill out for family and friends to let them know of your move. If you address them and return them to us, we’ll post and mail them out for you.”
“We will do everything possible to assist you every step of the way. If you have any questions, please contact us (250-729-7995) and we will be happy to help. We’re looking forward to you making your home with us at Berwick on the Lake!”