Assisted Living Wisconsin

What To Pack When Moving to Assisted Living

What To Pack When Moving to Assisted Living

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Grandma is moving to assisted living, and it’s time to fill her suitcase. You’ve read what NOT to pack as well as ways to make her new senior living room feel more her own. But what does she NEED to bring?

Each assisted living facility may have its own suggestions, but read on for a good standard packing list.

Frontida Senior Living Facilities, like Frontida of Germantown, provide you with posts like this one to help you live your best life.

Clothing – Easy On / Easy Off

  • Think Comfortable!
  • Daily Wear should be seasonally appropriate, machine-washable, easy to maintain, loose fitting and easy to put on and take off – (pack a minimum of 7 coordinating outfits.)
  • Sweaters or sweatshirts that can be layered. Yes, even for the summer. Each facility schedules fun outings and events, and those summer evening stargazing events can get chilly – (pack 3, maybe of different weights and thicknesses)
  • Undergarments: underwear, bras, socks – (7 each)
  • Sleepwear: again, easy to put on and take off. Remember: No satin or slippery fabrics which could make Grandma fall or slide out of bed, especially when she tries to sit on the edge.

Not-So Fancy Footwork

  • Slippers or gripper socks –non-skid bottoms. Gripper socks work best when getting up in the middle of the night. Again, prevent falls.
  • Comfortable shoes with non-skid soles and no or low heels, easy to put on/off, not too tight, and plenty of room to accommodate toes and swelling feet/ankles – (2 pair)


  • Jacket, boots, gloves, hats: loose fitting, easy to put on/off, washable, and appropriate for the seasons (light for spring, heavy for winter)


  • Laundry basket for clothes


  • bath, hand, and washcloths – (at least 7 sets)


  • Mattress Cover – an incontinence barrier mattress protector that is well-fitting, waterproof, dust mite & allergy protection barrier. Available at most retail stores or online.
  • Blankets – washable comforter/quilt, blankets
  • Pillows – pillow protectors and cases
  • Sheet Sets – avoid slippery or satin sheets, which, like slippery pajamas, could cause Grandma to slip right off the side when trying to get in or out (at least 3 non-slick sets)
  • Pads for wetness protection on beds and chairs – washable or disposable. Available at a medical supply store or online.
  • Mattress encasement that is bedbug proof


  • Corrective items – Glasses, dentures, denture care items and container, hearing aid and batteries, …
  • Bathroom items – toothbrush with cover, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.
  • Protective undergarments/incontinence briefs (if necessary)
  • Bathing items – Shampoo, body wash, lotion, etc.
  • Hairbrush, comb
  • Electric razor – in other words, no blades

NOTE: Chances are, Grandma (or you as her family) will be responsible for monitoring toiletry supplies and purchasing more when needed. If you don’t live close by, talk with your assisted living facility to know how best to handle monitoring those.

Wait—don’t close the suitcases yet!

*Double-check each piece of clothing/shoes/sheet/blanket/cover/towel for

  • Washing instructions: Remember, ALL clothing/shoes/jackets/bedding needs to be machine washable. No “dry clean only” items.
  • Size: Any blanket/comforter larger than a double will NOT fit in a Frontida washing machine.  

*Then grab a marker and write Grandma’s name or initials on ALL items: clothing/shoes/bedding/towels…

Wrapping It Up

Again, each senior living facility may have other items they strongly suggest, but this is a good starter list. And once you sort through the rest of Grandma’s belongings, be sure to add approved items that can make her room feel like home sweet home.

If you haven’t already, check this list of what Grandma shouldn’t pack.

If Grandma is stressing about the move, read ways to help her get used to her new home – or look at other problems that could be causing her to anxiety.

Meanwhile, contact a staff member to hear how Frontida can be a safe and happy place for your loved ones.

Check out these other helpful posts on preparing for assisted living.

Thank you to Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash for the featured image

Elizabeth Daghfal
• 3 min read

Elizabeth Daghfal is a writer, teacher, speaker, and community volunteer. When she isn't teaching or writing-- Who are we kidding? Her husband and five kids say she's ALWAYS teaching and writing. She has a passion to help people who are struggling and is happy to say her shoulders are drip-dry. Born and raised in the South, she now lives in Wisconsin and loves it--except for the fifteen months of winter. Read more about her at