A move into senior housing is usually much different from a regular move to another place to live. While there are many similarities — packing, deciding what to bring and what to toss — you have additional considerations that you normally wouldn't have to worry about. One of these is the security of your belongings, especially valuables like jewelry. Depending on the level of care you're going to have, there could be a lot of people coming in and out of your room. While you'd hope they'd all be honest, sometimes you get someone who isn't that honest. Finding ways to have access to your valuables without putting them at risk is an important pre-move step to take.
The Level of Care Matters
Senior homes often bring to mind skilled nursing and hospital rooms. However, they really encompass a range of care levels. Some senior homes have an independent living section, where you're basically in a regular apartment with access to the care and activities of the rest of the home. If these apartments have locking doors and you can bring in your own furniture, keeping the valuables in a locked filing cabinet could be all you need to do.
Once you get into assisted living, where you're semi-independent, you may have more people coming in, and it might be harder for you to move around. If you can bring in your own furniture, again, bring in something you can lock that isn't easy to simply pick up and take, and put the valuables in there. However, it would be best to limit what you have. For more intensive care, where you're not very mobile, you'll want just a few pieces that you can keep an eye on. Make sure there is a locking drawer or something similar.
Who Lives Locally?
If you really like your jewelry and don't want to part with it, but you're in a situation where you don't want to have much with you for security reasons, pick out a few pieces that you'll wear frequently. Then, leave the rest with a relative or friend who lives locally. If you want a piece that they're holding for you, they can bring that piece over and take back others that you want to switch out. Give them a few days notice, of course. They might want to store the items in a safe-deposit box, too. Speaking of which, if you don't have many family members or friends nearby, or no one can hold onto the jewelry for you, put it in a safe-deposit box. If you are semi-mobile and can arrange for transportation to the bank, you can switch out pieces as needed.
One thing you and your family should do is keep records of what you have and what's with someone else. Periodically review the list to keep it updated and to see if anything is missing. It sounds like an annoying bit of paperwork, but it will help you if you realize you haven't seen something for a while.
Good senior homes do try to give their residents the best security possible, but it's a good idea for you to take steps to protect your belongings as well. You can also ask other residents what they do to protect valuables in general. For more information, contact a company like Specialty Home Care.