Tackling A Senior’s Move: How Families Can Help Their Loved One Through The Process
Moving to a new home is a challenging experience for most families, but when the move involves a senior family member, the process can be especially difficult. Things can get emotional as difficult decisions need to be made, but some advance planning can make a big difference in how smoothly everything goes.
Plan ahead and break the process up into small chunks
Perhaps the key tip that experts will recommend when it comes to helping a senior move is to create a plan ahead of time. Start planning as far ahead of the needed moving date as possible, and the Senior List recommends starting a “to do” list detailing the action items involved in making the move happen.
Oftentimes when a senior decides to move into a new home, some significant downsizing needs to happen. It can be overwhelming to seniors to get through everything and part ways with things that may have sentimental value but that cannot be accommodated in their new home. Family members can help by being sensitive in working with a senior through this experience and break the process down into small tasks.
Help your senior prioritize what to keep and plan for the new home's space
Not many seniors can keep everything when they move into a new place, so prioritizing what to keep is a necessary step. Family members may need to get a bit creative in helping their senior keep items that are meaningful to them while still accounting for potential space issues in the new home. For example, treasured clothing items from a departed spouse or grown children can be made into a quilt, or Cape Cod notes that special items can be passed on to other family members who recognize their sentimental value.
The Caregiver site suggests creating a template of your senior's future home so that precise planning can be done ahead of time to determine what belongings will fit into the new space. This can be especially beneficial if your loved one is moving into a smaller apartment or an assisted living facility where space is fairly limited. Measuring and strategizing before the move will pay off significantly once it is time to get everything arranged at the new place.
In addition, it can be helpful to think ahead about which items will be high priority in terms of unpacking. The moving process can be emotional and taxing for older adults, and ensuring that a handful of comfort items are put into place at the new home right away can ease the transition. You will also want to consider which items need to be handled separately, like medical equipment, important papers, and particularly sentimental items.
Consider hiring help to manage the move
Families may want to handle the process of moving their senior to a new home on their own, but many find it quite useful to hire additional help. This may include sorting through belongings, getting things properly donated, arranging utility changes, and helping older adults with the emotions that come with sorting through their belongings and facing their move.
Hiring a moving company can be well worth the investment. Talk with movers as early as possible and organize your loved one's belongings as you pack them so that everything is secure and easy to unpack in the new home.
Whenever possible, allow plenty of time to make a transition like this and give your senior family member as much power and control as possible. Whether the move is one your loved one wants to do or simply needs to do, implementing a few simple strategies early on can make a big difference in ensuring that the transition into a new home goes smoothly.
[Image via Pixabay]