Assisted Living Facility Checklist: What to BringSkip to content

Checklist of things to pack with you when moving to an Assisted Living Facility 

Published: Dec 30, 2022. Last Updated: Jan 8, 2023.

Moving to an assisted living facility is a huge leap in a senior’s life, and nothing beats preparation when it comes to this big turning point. Leaving one’s home is never an easy decision. While it’s understandable that your parents and the entire family are laden with emotions for such a change, the best thing you can do for your loved one is to keep them in a positive light and make them feel that the place they’re moving into is somewhere they can call their next home. If you’re helping your loved one get ready to move into a new home, keep in mind that along the way, you should also help them make decisions on what things to take along and what to leave behind.

Remember, the apartment space in an assisted living facility may not be as spacious to accommodate too many things. Measure out the new space to figure out ideally how much you can pack. It’s a wise idea to downsize your belongings prior to moving to keep the new space free of clutter and things your loved one no longer needs. Here are some of the things which your loved one can bring in an assisted living facility:

What to Bring

Personal Items (Clothes, toiletries etc)

Bringing an entire set of personal possessions to an assisted living facility can contribute to a senior’s sense of home. These are typically the essentials that your loved one uses on a daily basis or are items that they may need immediately, such as:

  • Clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Over-the-counter or prescription medications
  • Eyeglasses
  • Hearing aid
  • Cane
  • Walker
  • Wheelchair
  • Personal Copy of Legal Documents

Your loved one may also want to bring around personal items that are special to them or that which make them comfortable. For example, a favorite blanket, a sentimental painting, family photo albums, purses or wallets, jewelry or other accessories, and other keepsakes that they want to hold onto. Most assisted living facilities permit their residents to bring their personal belongings as long as they do not interfere with the safety or rights of other residents in the facility.

Furnitures and Decors

Some facilities allow residents to bring small pieces of furniture that fit into the dimensions of the apartment or studio in the facility. Usually, the residential space in an assisted living facility is limited, so you will want to know the measurement and the floorplan of your loved one’s new space so you know the kind of items you’d be able to bring in. Consider prioritizing some of these essential furniture items:
  • Bed
  • Side table or lamp
  • Dresser
  • Small sofa
  • Recliner or chair
  • Table or desk

While you’re at it, you can also have your loved one add a personal touch to their new home by putting some decorations that would make the space cozier and more pleasant to live in, such as:

  • Plants
  • Pictures
  • Mirror
  • Clock or alarm clock
  • Storage boxes
  • Organization items

If you have items that do not fit your space, it’s a wise idea to consider selling, donating, or storing away your loved one’s things. This welcomes more space-efficient options for your loved one to live more comfortably in their new home.

Appliances and Housewares

As you move on with your inventory of items to bring, we recommend checking with your care staff to know which items are already provided and which items you need to bring. Some facilities already have pre-purchased appliances such as a fridge or a microwave while some facilities have a list of appliances they do not allow for safety purposes of the residents such as hot plates or toaster. Considering these, it is always better to talk with the care staff first about their rules and regulations prior to deciding which appliances to bring or purchase. Here are some essential appliances or housewares you could consider:

  • Coffeemaker
  • Small fridge (if not provided)
  • Small selection of tablewares
  • Pots and pans (a set of large and small pans can be sufficient)
  • Linens (bed sheets, blankets, pillowcases, and a comforter)
  • Bath towels
  • Hangers
  • Trash cans
  • Hamper for dirty clothes


Assisted living facilities offer a full range of recreational activities to keep their residents full of vigor. However, keep in mind that people have individual interests and hobbies. As much as some seniors enjoy having fun with their peers and explore the great outdoors, other older adults may also want to pass their time in the comfort of their own space. Nevertheless, you may want to bring a few items for entertainment to keep your loved one engaged, such as:

  • Television
  • Computer
  • iPad or Smartphone
  • Chargers
  • Radio
  • Books
  • Puzzles
  • Playing Cards
  • Arts and Crafts Materials
  • Hobby supplies

Pet and Pet Supplies

If you’re wondering whether a pet is allowed in an assisted living facility, the answer is yes, for most communities, provided that your loved one can take care of the pet themselves and that their pet wouldn’t cause harm or annoyance to them or to other residents. No matter the case, you should always inquire first or talk to a care staff on the restrictions regarding moving in with a pet. If your prospective assisted living facility does allow their residents to bring their furry friend, here’s a list of what to bring:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Pet bed and pet blanket
  • Dog crate
  • Litter box
  • Food
  • Treats
  • Pet toys
  • Collar and leash
  • Vitamins and medications

The benefits of having an animal companion around with an older adult can be sizable, considering the positive impact it can bring to their mental health and wellness. When moving in with a pet, you should be well-informed on the right pet policies and the do’s and don't's of the community when it comes to keeping a pet in their household.

What Not to Bring :

Now that you already have a checklist of what to bring when your loved one moves in to assisted living, know that there are also some things that are not advisable to take along as you move, such as:

Bulky furniture

Large pieces of furniture may not be space-efficient to the limited area of residential spaces in assisted living communities. For example, a large sofa set, dining table, or a king-sized bed

Throw rugs

These can be tripping-hazards for seniors and may cause accidental falls.


This can be too big a risk to be allowed in any senior living community, let alone assisted living, as candles can be a fire-hazard. It can only be a big risk to the safety of your loved one and to other residents as well.

Heat-generating items

Electrical appliances that generate heat can malfunction and left unattended. These are also not permitted in assisted living facilities as they can be a cause of fire.

Power tools

There’s no need to bring power tools in an assisted living facility as there will be a maintenance staff who will be in-charge of taking care of fixing things in your loved one’s apartment.


Deadly weapons such as knives, or firearms are most likely not permitted inside the premises of an assisted living facility. If security is your concern, the facility itself maintains a security system and guards that keeps all its residents safe and away from possible harm.

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About the Author

JM Guiang

Writer & Researcher

Elder Guide LLC

Inspired by fresh ideas and wise words, JM Guiang, Communications degree-holder, and Elder Guide writer, finds profound joy in writing quality content and insightful articles that redefine seniors' perspective on aging with grace and confidence.