Make Your Move

Buena Vida Estates’ Moving Assistance Program takes the burden and stress out of moving


From the excitement and anticipation that comes with this big life change, to the stress and anxiety associated with all that moving entails, this single word can conjure up a range of emotions. For seniors especially, making the move from the comforts of their “nest” to a senior living community can prove to be overwhelming.

“Unfortunately, our needs change and there are times when our home is no longer practical, especially as our health starts to change,” explains Bruce Rosenblatt, senior housing expert and vice president at Buena Vida Estates in West Melbourne. “Those who wait too long find moving much more difficult since it involves both physical and emotional energy.”

For nearly 30 years, Buena Vida, Brevard County’s only Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), has provided its residents a full continuum of care and worry-free retirement living. Understanding the difficulties associated with moving, the team at Buena Vida goes the extra mile to ensure the process is as seamless as possible.

“Since our services are unique in the marketplace, many people are amazed that we do so much to assist them,” says Rosenblatt. “Our Moving Assistance Program was established with the primary goal of making the move to Buena Vida as stress free as possible.”


Buena Vida employs a dedicated move-in coordinator, Susan Luisi, who assists with everything from furniture placement and décor, to overseeing packing and unpacking of household items, to assisting with address changes, to providing resources for unwanted items. She also spends time discussing apartment upgrades with each new resident, and personally oversees remodeling efforts.

“One key thing I always remember is to put myself in the person’s shoes who is moving here,” says Luisi, who has been with Buena Vida since 2003. “Moving anywhere at any age is difficult, so I try to be as helpful as possible.” The help Luisi refers to not only applies to physical assistance, but also to help getting acquainted to the community and staff members, as well as help sparking new, lasting friendships.

“We try to make moving fun and encourage folks who are considering a move to Buena Vida to participate in activities and enjoy our dining experience well before they move in. We also host new resident welcome parties to give people a chance to meet their new neighbors,” explains Rosenblatt.


Barbara and Larry Payne took advantage of these offerings before deciding to make the move to Buena Vida. In addition to visiting the community numerous times, the pair attended Buena Vida’s Octoberfest last October. “That was a lot of fun,” says Larry of the event. “We had a great time.”

The Paynes, who have lived in Brevard County for eight years, moved to Buena Vida on February 1 and they couldn’t be happier with their move-in experience. “We received the most professional moving services I have ever experienced,” says Larry, who spent years in the military and moved frequently during that time. “I was absolutely amazed at what Susan was able to accomplish in such a short time,” he adds, referring to the storage and organizational assistance Luisi provided the couple in their new apartment.

While the Paynes are still settling in to their new abode, they’re anxious to begin taking advantage of Buena Vida’s amenities, such as the community’s exercise programs; bingo, bridge and other card groups; as well as the men’s group for Larry.

Esther Mason, a former nurse and local resident since 1964, is another newcomer to Buena Vida who chose the community for its excellent reputation and location. “All my doctors are here in Melbourne, so it was important I stay close,” she says. “It’s comforting to know there is a doctor on site, but also that my own doctor is just down the street.”

Mason, like more and more seniors today, was pro-active in her decision to move to Buena Vida. She garnered feedback from residents and friends, and even did a background check on the community – something the staff encourages.

When it comes to making the ultimate decision to move to a senior living community, Mason offers up this advice: “Do it while you can. Do it when you can still make your own decisions.”


Buena Vida’s Home Sale Assistance Program takes the burden away.

Buena Vida Estates partnered with ITG Realty to provide the Home Sale Assistance Program, an option for prospective residents concerned about selling their home. Under this program, Rusty Melle, Buena Vida’s in-house state-licensed real estate agent from ITG Realty, will list and market one’s home, and if it doesn’t sell, ITG Realty will guarantee a buyer at fair market value. The program offers a credit up to $1,000 per month for 18 months to cover carrying charges of the home. The Home Sale Assistance Program also provides reimbursement up to $5,000 for home staging expenses, as well as home watch services for those who move to Buena Vida before their home is sold.

“Rusty came in and took care of everything,” says Virginia Osley, a former Indialantic resident whose home sold in roughly six weeks under the program. Osley has lived in Brevard County for 26 years and moved to Buena Vida a few months ago. “There was little stress involved. It made me feel relieved knowing I didn’t need to worry about a thing … Buena Vida is the one place where they take care of you forever.”

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