Moving to a new home is tough – moving during a major life transition is that much harder. When an elderly loved one moves from a family home they’ve lived in for decades to a smaller living space, such as a condo or assisted living apartment, the transition can be stressful for all involved. They’re not only moving, they’re downsizing; essentially “getting rid of” possessions that they have held onto for years. This would be a difficult situation for anyone to go through.
There is also a common phenomenon among the “Gen X” Generation. They are doing double duty – responsible for taking care of their children, while also being responsible for the care of their aging parents or grandparents. They often don’t have the time or the emotional fortitude it takes to tackle downsizing and a major life transition move effectively.
Over the years, we have packed and moved many seniors and the important thing is to stay organized, patient and respectful throughout the move process. We’ve put some important moving tips specifically related to moving seniors, to help ease the process and make the transition go smoothly for all involved.
Tips for Moving Seniors
- Start the downsizing and sorting early. Be extra sensitive to the fact that getting rid of possessions is one of the hardest parts of the moving process. One tip is to make a list of family members and friends to give gifts to. That way, the possessions aren’t being “thrown away”; they’re being given as gifts. You can also suggest donating items to a charitable cause, or selling them in a yard sale to make a little extra money.
- Get a floor plan for the new living space. This will help you decide how much furniture to bring and which pieces should be given away. You can makes plans to design the new living space to be as close to the old home as possible, for familiarity’s sakes. Or, if that might cause too much heartache, you can help come up with an entirely new interior design style – something they’ve always wished they could do with their old home but never got around to. This can be an exciting part of the moving process, and something to look forward to.
- Plan for more time than you think you’ll need. Packing is a time consuming process to begin with, and having a discussion for each personal item – whether to pack, give away or get rid of – will take much more time than you probably accounted for. As you encounter each item, the memories associated it with will come bubbling up to the surface. You’ll probably learn many interesting stories and anecdotes from your loved one’s long life.
- Thoroughly check all pockets, bags, drawers, and any other places small valuable items, like jewellery or money, could have been misplaced throughout the years. How many times have you yourself pocketed a pair of earrings or cufflinks in your purse or suit pocket after a long night out?
We’re hoping we can help ease the stress that comes making with such a huge life transition. With these tips, you and elderly your loved one should be one step closer to a smooth and easy move.