The Dotted Line: Documents You’ll Need to Move to Senior Living

The Dotted Line: Documents You’ll Need to Move to Senior Living

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



The journey to find the right senior living community has been long, but you’re almost at the finish line. You’ve done your research, you’ve toured, you’ve gotten feedback and you’ve even started the downsizing process. Now all that’s left is signing the paperwork at your community of choice. And there will be a lot of it. Make sure you’re prepared with this list of documents you’ll need to move to senior living.

Essential Documentation for Senior Living

Red tape, you can’t escape it. Part of the admissions process for senior living is to prepare and sign a variety of documents that help the community direct your care. Typical paperwork includes:

  • Durable Financial Power of Attorney — Also known as a durable power of attorney for healthcare, this document gives the appointed agent(s) the authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
  • Advance Directive — A set of instructions about future medical care should you or your loved one become incapacitated and unable to make or articulate your own decisions.
    • Living Will — A type of Advance Directive, this important document informs others of the types of medical care you do or do not want such as resuscitation, mechanical ventilation, feeding tubes, dialysis and/or organ donation.
    • Durable Medical Power of Attorney — Another type of Advance Directive also known as a durable power of attorney for healthcare, this document gives the appointed agent(s) the authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.

In some states, the law allows you to combine a medical power of attorney and living will into one advance directive document.

  • Medicaid Waiver — If your state has a Medicaid Waiver program to assist with the cost of assisted living, you can apply for the program either before or after the move, but must meet both the financial and medical eligibility criteria to qualify. In addition to the income requirement, the waiver programs in many states require that you or your loved one have a specific medical condition or meet the qualifications to receive a particular level of care.
  • Physical Assessment Form — Completed by a physician, this form includes medical history and diagnoses, cognitive or behavioral status and physical or sensory limitations. The physician can also indicate medical or therapy services you or your loved one needs, as well as the extent of assistance needed with daily living or personal care.
  • Resident Agreement — This contract between the resident and the senior living community should list the services you or your loved one will receive and the types of care provided, as well as the fee schedule and any extra costs. It’s important not only for your family to read the agreement carefully but to also have an attorney review it before you sign.
  • Individual Service Plan — Also known as a care plan, this document is provided by the community and details the specific services you or your loved one will receive, how each will be provided, who will provide it and how often you will receive the service. This document should be updated at regular intervals or more often in the event you need more or less care.

Bonus Tip

While you’re preparing all of the documents above, it’s a good idea to get all your heath, financial and legal information together so it’s easily accessible if and when you need it.

Health Information

  • Personal medical history, allergies and medication list
  • Health insurance and/or Medicare, Medicaid information

Financial Information

  • Bank and brokerage account information
  • Deeds and mortgage papers
  • Vehicle Title
  • Monthly or outstanding bills
  • Pension and other retirement benefits
  • Social Security payment information
  • Stock and bond certificates
  • Tax returns

Legal Information

  • Will
  • Trust documents
  • Life-insurance policies

Other Helpful Documents

  • Online usernames and passwords
  • List of safe deposit boxes and keys
  • Military records
  • Birth certificate
  • Driver’s license and passport
  • Social Security card

Also, make sure your family puts a financial plan in place to determine how you’ll handle ongoing financial duties such as paying bills, managing benefit claims, making investment decisions and preparing tax returns once you or your loved one has moved to senior living.

For answers to additional senior living questions, check out our Family Decision Guide!

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