Getting Started: A Guide to Making the Move to Senior Living

Apr 16, 2024

If you’re ready to get started with senior living, you may be wondering where to start. The Admiral at the Lake is here to help with proven steps, expert tips for moving to senior living and guidance through every step of your journey.

1. Decide when it’s time to make the move.

While some older adults think they might be too young for a move to independent living or a senior living community, the truth is, it’s often better to move sooner. This is because:

  • You’re more independent and can enjoy an active lifestyle.
  • You’ll have more free time to pursue your interests.
  • You will get to enjoy the range of amenities included within your chosen community.
  • You’ll experience maintenance-free living for longer.
  • You may secure your price of future support depending on your contract type.
  • You and your family will feel more secure knowing you have a plan for the future.

At The Admiral, we believe that moving to a senior living community sooner is better; however, we make it possible to move at any time you need.

2. Choose the right retirement lifestyle for you.

Many senior living communities offer a variety of senior living options and levels of care, in addition to their range of programs, activities and amenities. These services can include independent living, assisted living, memory care and even skilled nursing. Some, however, like assisted living facilities or nursing homes, only provide one level of support, which means you may need to move again should you need more support.

The Admiral is a Life Plan Community offering a Type A Lifecare contract, meaning we provide a range of services, ensuring you never need to move if your needs change. Even better, as residents transition through care levels or participate in short-term rehabilitation, their friends can be right there, too, cheering them on and celebrating their return home.

What levels of care can you expect at The Admiral?  

Independent Living

Enjoy the active lifestyle you love while savoring delicious dining prepared for you, engaging programs and activities, social opportunities and a maintenance-free lifestyle.

Assisted Living

The Harbors Assisted Living provides assistance with activities of daily living; a warm, supportive environment; and an enriching, maintenance-free lifestyle.

Memory Support

Older adults with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia benefit from a specially created environment with support personalized to their needs.

Skilled Nursing

The Harbors Skilled Nursing facility provides state-of-the-art care, customized plans and an engaging lifestyle.


Featuring 36 Medicare-Certified suites, Rehabilitation at The Admiral helps older adults get back on their feet after an illness, injury or a hospital stay.

Direct Admissions

For older adults who are interested in starting Assisted Living or Memory Support, our direct admissions program makes it possible for them to receive the support they need without paying an entrance fee or meeting independent living qualifications. 

Instead, they can feel at home and enjoy the support they need as a Memory Support or Assisted Living resident, while enjoying the range of services and amenities we have to offer.

seniors talking outside in Chicago

3. Consider the costs.

Is the cost of senior living holding you back from making a move? When you do the math, you might find that living in a community actually costs less than your current home, especially when you factor in the potential need for future care.

The Admiral offers a Type A Lifecare contract, bringing financial security and peace of mind to family members who are worried about health care’s ever-rising costs. Even better, there are a range of amenities included for one predictable cost.

  • A beautiful community featuring lakefront living, multiple gardens, and wildlife
  • The perfect location for enjoying local cultural opportunities and restaurants
  • Social events, activities and entertainment
  • Outings to performances and local attractions
  • Lifelong learning opportunities, including lectures, mentoring, and the Reading Buddy Program
  • Elevated cuisine with locally sourced ingredients and seasonal menus
  • Health and wellness classes, fitness center, swimming pool and jacuzzi
  • Home maintenance and 24-hour security
  • Community living spaces and green spaces

4. Begin the downsizing process.

Downsizing is an overwhelming task for many, and often, this is what keeps older adults from moving. By being smart about the downsizing process, you can make moving a breeze. Here are a few tips from our team members that can help get you started.

Do: Simplify.

What brings you the most joy, or what brings you closer to your ideal vision of retirement? Keep those items; toss the others.

Do: Start with lower-value items.

It’s often easier to make decisions about items of lower value. Begin with these to hone your skills and decrease clutter.

Do: Organize by category.

Place items that belong to a certain category all in one place. Once you’ve got items sorted, evaluate if you have extras and keep the one you like best. Keep only the items that mean the most to you.

Don’t: Begin with sentimental items.

These items can take the most time to go through and can freeze you in place. Instead, save these items for last.

Don’t: Start without a plan.

Without a plan, you might lose direction quickly. Set your goals, stay on task, and trust yourself.

Discover some more of the Do’s and Don’ts of Downsizing with our educational resource.

5. Seek out the support of professionals.

If you’re considering a move to a retirement community and aren’t sure where to turn, we’re here to help with personalized guidance. 

Our team is with you every step of the way, providing downsizing, relocation and moving assistance, connecting you with realtors and a personal move manager, and offering moving company recommendations. No matter your needs, we’re here to be your guide.

Ready To Experience Life at The Admiral?

Learn more about how to make your move to The Admiral at the Lake by calling 800.653.6197 or scheduling a tour today.