Moving home is difficult at the best of times. Packing up boxes, organising the logistics, and finalising the paperwork – could cause anyone to feel stressed out. However, it can be even more stressful for elderly people. This guide will provide you with 9 tips for helping seniors move home.
- 1 Be prepared for emotions
- 2 Create a plan to tackle the move
- 3 Be realistic about belongings
- 4 Preparing for moving day
- 5 Enlist all the help you can get
- 6 Check out their new accommodation first
- 7 Take the opportunity to downsize
- 8 Hire experts to help out
- 9 Take the time to get their new space ready first
Moving home can be a cause of stress and sadness for many seniors, especially if they have lived in the same place for years. This could be due to friends or family moving away or being forced from their home by rising rent prices. Talk to your elderly relative (or friend) about any feelings they may be experiencing in the lead-up to their move and create a support network around them.
If you live near family members, ask everyone if they will help out when moving. The less stress on the senior, the better! If that’s not an option for you, consider hiring moving services for seniors.
Help them create an action plan for when they move back home or to another location. For example, they may want to pack things up one room at a time and have a certain amount of their belongings in boxes by the next week. Remind them that they can take things at their own pace and not stress if they need to put things aside for another day.
The plan could also include a checklist for you and family members who are helping out. This will help with the organization when the move is in progress. Then, once they have moved into their new space, create a schedule for them.
Many seniors will have accumulated a lot of possessions over the years. However, with age and health in mind, you may need to help them evaluate what they really need when it comes time to move. Keep in mind that they may not be able to carry heavy boxes anymore, and certain items could be hazardous if left out.
If you’re moving on behalf of a senior, try distinguishing between possessions they need (like special meds or clothes) versus those they simply enjoy having around them. Then, encourage them to keep the items they will need and suggest giving away or donating their other belongings.
You can do a few things before your relative moves home to make sure it runs smoothly when the time comes. First, put together an inventory of all their worldly possessions – including electronic equipment. Then, make this easy for both of you by compiling it digitally or writing things down.
When packing up, keep in mind that your senior friend will likely not be as mobile as they once were. Therefore, check to see if there are any objects you can disassemble, like furniture or smaller appliances. This will make loading and unloading much easier for the two of you.
Moving day can be very stressful for your elderly relative. They must have people around them who they trust and feel safe with during this time. If you live close by family members or friends, ask if they could spend a couple of hours to make sure everything goes smoothly. Most adult children (or other relatives – like grandchildren or sisters) will be more than happy to help out.
At the very least, you should try to arrange a backup carer for the day so that you can enjoy the process as well. You could do this by hiring an independent moving service in your area. If you have friends or family members around who want to help out too, make sure you negotiate who will do what tasks ahead of time.
If your elderly relative is moving to a new assisted living home, some movers or professional staff members will likely be available to help them through the process. However, you may still want to offer up a little extra help for whatever else they need – like carrying items upstairs, for example.
You need to check out their new home prior to the move. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the layout of the place. Some things like staircases and narrow hallways might be a danger for your elderly relative, so it’s best if you know this ahead of time! Some places like assisted living Haddonfield NJ will be designed to make moving in as easy as possible.
Your senior relative might be ready to sell some of their bigger things that they no longer need. Some seniors will decide to downsize and get rid of possessions that may no longer be used or have negative associations attached to them. Ask your senior friend if they are ready to downsize and help them figure out what could go. You could sell items on eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook marketplace. This could offset some of the cost of moving.
There are some things you might need to seek professional advice on when it comes time to move your senior relative. For example, concerns about home maintenance or safety may be best addressed by a professional. Similarly, if you have questions about what sort of mobility aids, they could use (like walkers/wheelchairs etc.), it’s best to get advice from an expert. You will also want to make sure their safety deposit box is secure in the new place, so they have somewhere safe to keep important documents and possessions (like jewelry).
If your senior relative is moving to a new home, make sure you take the time to get their new living space ready first. This means you’ll have to do things like assemble furniture or rewire light fixtures etc. Having someone around who can help with these tasks will be very important for your elderly relative.
You should also check out the facilities at their new home to ensure it is safe and suitable for them. This means checking everything from bed sizes down to locks on windows or doors. Always consider your senior loved ones’ physical limitations when doing something like this!