Various studies often cite moving house as one of life’s most stressful events for persons of any age; there are some additional challenges that senior citizens can face here. If you or a loved one are planning to move into a different home or perhaps an assisted living facility, we’re here to provide some tips and hints that can make this situation easier for everyone.
Talk it Over
This may seem very obvious, but we can often overlook it; moving is hectic and logistically confusing, sometimes simple communication gets lost amid the shuffle of boxes. Seniors who may have spent the majority of their adult lives–and perhaps even childhood–in one home will certainly be emotionally invested in their living space. Coupled with the physical stresses will be the emotional pull that the home brings.
In such cases, it is important to take time out of the busywork of moving to sit down and discuss options with the loved one that is moving. Talk with them about the conveniences and benefits of the new home or assisted facility, for example.
Sort Through Everything
This is a major step for two main reasons. The first is, your elderly loved one is almost certainly downsizing when moving to their new home. In fact, there are companies that cater specifically to downsizing when moving. But let’s assume you’re a relative helping your loved one move. He or she may need help sorting through everything they’ve accumulated over the years, deciding what is worth taking, and what may not be. While this is useful logistically, it is also helpful to be there emotionally. This is truly an opportunity to sort through “memories of a lifetime” with your relative. You can be there to comfort them as they let go, and both share in the joy of memories as they take this next step in life.
Hire a Moving and Packing Service
Having a professional moving and packing service assist with the relocation may help put your loved one at ease. Trained movers know the proper techniques for wrapping and boxing household items, so they’ll know how to properly care for those possessions that are so precious to your parent. Imperial Movers (site | Yelp) suggests letting your loved one temporarily place some items in storage if they don’t have room for everything in their new space. This may ease the stress of trying to decide which items to part with. A moving company can handle the logistics of packing items and most have access to inexpensive storage facilities, which means this is one less thing for you to contend with. A moving and packing services also offer unpacking services and can tackle frustrating tasks like reassembling furniture.
Know Your New Space
Related to the above tip, it is helpful to know the general size of the new house to which your family member is moving. This is useful in helping you to pare down what you’ll take, and motivate you to consider what is important, rather than just what you like.
Gone Doesn’t Mean Forgotten
Consider giving some of your possessions to caring relatives or even friends; you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your cherished things went to a home where others will enjoy them just as you did.
Break Moving Down
It’s stressful enough without trying to do everything at once. Plan out smaller tasks that you can perhaps check off of a moving checklist. You or your loved one have lived in their space for a long time; it’s perfectly okay for moving to take a little while.
Keep in Touch
Don’t forget that you should fill out your change of address and other transitory information, preferably ahead of time so that things are ready when you arrive at the destination. Bills, utilities and the like are also things to switch over.
This is but a list of a few helpful suggestions for your senior move; there are other resources out there and companies that specialize in care and guidance during such a move. You are never in this alone.