There comes a time for many seniors when a move needs to be made, and this can be a challenging process. Some senior adults move into an assisted living facility or in with family members, while others may simply be downsizing to a smaller place that is easier to navigate in their later years. There can be some challenging aspects to moving as an older adult, but there are some tips available to help make the process go a bit more smoothly.
Be gentle with your loved one as they work toward their move
Moving can be an emotional experience for many seniors, especially if they have been in their current home for many years. For some older adults, making a change in where they live is a positive or exciting decision, while for others it can be frustrating or heartbreaking if it’s not a choice they have wanted to face making. No matter the circumstances, Angie’s List recommends that family members move ahead in helping their senior with a lot of sensitivity.
If your senior family member is downsizing from someplace they have lived for a long time, it may be necessary to get rid of a fair number of items. It can be difficult for older adults to part with some items that hold special meaning for them, even if they won’t have space in their new place for much.
However, family members would be wise to allow their senior as much latitude as possible to make these decisions. Sometimes these types of moves follow significant losses of loved ones, like a longtime spouse, and losing material items on top of that can be an overwhelming blow.
Think ahead and formulate a plan before the move takes place
Planning ahead is crucial when moving. Hiring a moving company to manage the heavy lifting is a great idea, especially for seniors. Bankrate recommends taking a look for items that hold special meaning and need to be handled especially gently before everything else gets packed.
Sentimental items that would cause distress if they were lost or broken should be packaged separately and kept out of the mix of the general items set to be moved. Experts also suggest that additional items such as jewelry, medications, financial or personal documents, and medical equipment should also be kept separate and handled carefully.
Family members may want to organize the packing before digging in, grouping priority items together. For many seniors, having a few sentimental items unpacked first can make a new place feel like home right away. Those items may include family photographs, special blankets, or other treasured items that provide comfort and familiarity, and having these in place quickly in a new home can ease the transition.
Utilize outside assistance when possible to keep the process moving smoothly
While some families can handle the process of moving a senior on their own, many realize that they need a bit of outside help. Bringing in outside help may seem like an unnecessary expense, but having unbiased assistance can make the process flow much more smoothly. No matter what approach a family chooses to take, whenever possible allow a fair amount of time to progress through the process. HGTV notes that it is important to work on having everybody on the same page and to work together to set goals and plan ahead.
Moving seniors into new homes in their older years can be a difficult and emotional process. Plan ahead and be ready to make a new place feel like home as quickly as possible, hiring help when needed, to help your senior seamlessly adjust to their new living situation. A little bit of strategizing on the front end can go a long way toward a smooth adjustment later on for your senior family member as they embark on this new chapter of their life.