Moving is a stressful task for anyone, regardless of age. For people over 65 that may be struggling with mobility and health issues, the move can be overwhelming and even frightening. Your senior loved one will need all your support to make the move as painless as possible, with the least amount of strain on both health and finances.
There are a variety of scenarios that arise which can result in the need for your senior loved one to move to a retirement home or assisted living community. A few possible reasons for the move may be health issues, home maintenance stress, the need to downsize, or other factors.
Some of the difficulties that come with aging can have a negative impact on the ability to live independently. The move to a retirement home can help remove some of the burden and stress.
Many seniors are not overly excited to leave their own homes to move to a new retirement community amongst strangers. You can help them overcome these challenges with good planning and support.
Some tips for a smooth transition, may include:
Your loved one is likely going to need a lot of encouragement to get through this stressful and demanding event. Keeping the lines of communication open and honest is a good way to approach it.
Seniors moving out of their homes are likely to have strong emotional ties to the place they are leaving. They may feel grief and sadness, or even opposition to this new move. What they will need from you is time and support so they can come to terms with this move and don’t feel like they are losing control over their life decisions.
Positive conversations about the new living arrangements can help to get things moving in the right direction. Plus, allowing seniors to have as much input as possible about the moving process permits a greater sense of control over their own situation.
A move of this magnitude is quite serious in most cases, and you will likely need all the assistance you can get. Contact relatives and friends to see who is interested in pitching in to help out. Your loved one will probably be grateful and pleased by the support. Plus, it is a good way for seniors to get some quality time with friends and family before the move.
Good planning is absolutely key to a successful move. Depending on how long your loved on has lived in their current home, there will be a lot of organization to do and decisions to make about scaling back.
Chances are the space being moved into is smaller. This means a purge is probably in order, and your loved one will need to choose the most important items to bring to the new location. With a systematic plan you can reduce unforeseen incidents.
This is the most involved task of the moving process. Room by room is good way to go with it.
You could start in the kitchen and place every item into one of 4 piles:
It is good to keep in mind that many of these items will have emotional attachment, not to be insensitively pitched in the garbage.
Once all the belongings in the house have been organized, the next step is to plan the move. The home may need to be prepared for sale, renters, or whoever will be moving in next.
You will also need to decide if you are going to go with a full-service moving company, or if you will be handling some aspects of the move yourself. That will likely depend on the amount of stuff being moved.
The most important thing to remember is what a big life event this is for your loved one, and to offer whatever support they may need.