When Moving Elderly Parents, Consider These 3 Things
Moving is never easy. And, even more so for the elderly, when moving from a home they have lived in for a number of years, often decades.
The memories and the familiarity, not to mention the feelings of independence, can make a move for those who are aging difficult. Even when they know it is the right decision.
And, for aging parents who are ready and willing to move, a move can still be fraught with emotions, a sense of loss and worry about the future.
Making A Move As Stress Free As Possible For The Elderly
So how do you help elderly, whether parent(s) or another aging family member or friend, move from a home they are familiar with to one that will be new to them and unfamiliar?
Here are 3 things to consider to help make the move of elderly parent(s), or any elderly person, as stress-free as possible.
1. Including The Elderly In The Decision Making Process
When our lives are already busy it can be easy to take over the moving process, thinking that will make things simpler. Yet it’s important to remember that the elderly are often already struggling with feeling the loss of their independence and control of their life.
Including them in the decision making process, as much as is possible, can help them feel a measure of independence and control over their move.
Of course, you may still be the one calling for information and quotes on some aspect of the moving process. But discussing the options with them may make it much easier for them to be positive about the move and feel they have some control over it.
Every situation is different, and for a parent that is vibrant and in good-health, including them in the process is likely to make the move less stressful for both them and you.
For elderly parents who have major health issues, physical or mental, this may make including them in the decision making process virtually impossible.
But, where possible and realistic, look for opportunities to include them in the discussion of options and decision making process.
2. Determining What You & Your Family Can Do & What To Hire Out
Once the decision to move to a smaller home has been made, whether that is an apartment, a suite in an independent living facility, assisted living or long-term care, the next step is preparing for the actual move.
As aging parents are generally moving into a smaller place, the packing process becomes much more than simply packing possessions.
The packing process usually means organizing and downsizing possessions to decide what to keep, what to donate or give away, and what to dispose of.
If you live nearby to your parents, you may decide to take on the job yourself. In some cases, families live in different cities or provinces and so taking care of the move themselves is not always an option.
This is where hiring a professional, like a senior move management service, to work with the elderly individual(s) involved can be very helpful.
As they are professionals who have experience working with the elderly, they are able to come alongside the elderly, unemotionally and yet with great care, to help them through the process.
A reputable senior move management service will offer an initial in-person consultation with the elderly client, and/or their family, depending on the situation. The goal of this meeting is to get to know the client and what their needs are related to the move.
They will then provide a detailed estimate, and ideally a locked-in price, so that the client knows exactly what services are included in the estimate and what the costs are. There should be no hidden fees or add-on surprises. Be sure to ask for a guaranteed price, and get it in writing.
Even if you live close by, you may find hiring a professional to help with the downsizing, packing, and even the move itself, may leave relationships far more harmonious. An initial consultation with you and your elderly parents or family should give you a clear sense of whether this is the right choice for you and your loved one(s).
3. The Process Of Downsizing, Donating & Disposing Of Possessions
For the elderly involved, and their family members, this is the difficult part. It is understandably difficult for people to part with possessions they have had for many years, often decades.
This is also where frustration can boil over between the elderly and their family or friends, when deciding what to keep and what not to keep.
As the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” This is especially true when helping people determine what has value and what does not.
This is also where the services of a professional can help.
The job of a professional senior move management service is to help seniors move safely and without stress, plain and simple.
A business whose main job it is to work with seniors who are moving, tends to be more pragmatic and unemotional, while at the same time demonstrating empathy and understanding the emotion that their clients are dealing with. In particular, when it comes to deciding what treasured items to dispose of and what ones to keep.
A senior move specialist handling the process of downsizing, packing and moving a client, should also have obtained the dimensions and layout of the new home the elderly person(s) will be moving to, whether a suite or a room. Then to measure the clients existing furniture to see what will work in their new space and what will not.
Using the dimensions and layout of the property the client will be moving into, they will be able to help them in making difficult but important decisions about what they are able to take with them, and what they are not.
Often, someone who moves seniors exclusively is better able to have this conversation without the emotion and drama that can sometimes occur when the conversation is between family or friends.
In addition to deciding what to keep and take with them, and what not to, a move specialist for seniors will come prepared with all of the moving and packing supplies needed for the move.
Of course, be sure to ask to have these items included in any quote you receive. The packing supplies are important to ensure the elderly clients’ possessions are kept safe throughout the move.
Call Aaron at 604-799-1789 or email Aaron@ASFservices.ca for a free consult.