Dear Donna:

My sister and I are going to have “the talk” with our mom this weekend about moving to assisted living. We will both be in town to celebrate her 85th birthday. We think one of her objections will be that she doesn’t want to leave her treasures behind. She was an antiques dealer who had stores in several small resort towns in Michigan. If she moves to an assisted living community, will she be allowed to bring her own furniture?

David in Saline, Michigan

Dear David:

Good news! In the majority of instances, your mother will be able to bring some of her treasured antiques with her to assisted living. In fact, being surrounded by some of her favorite things will probably make her new assisted living apartment feel more like home. That can help her make a smooth transition.

We typically recommend families obtain a copy of the floor plan for her style of apartment from the community’s administrator. If dimensions aren’t already labeled on the floor plan, measure them yourself or ask the community staff to do it before you start making plans. Knowing how much wall space you have in each area of the apartment will make it easier to determine which piece of furniture will fit there. A word of caution, however, is to not fill the apartment so full that it creates a fall risk for her. Be sure to leave uncluttered, open spaces and pathways in the areas she will most often use, such as from the bed to the bathroom or her favorite loveseat or chair to the kitchenette.

We hope this helps, David! If you have any questions about assisted living in Michigan, we invite you to call the Heritage Senior Community closest to your mother for help.

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