Helpful Tips for Moving Your Senior Loved One
There are many different scenarios that require the need to move a senior parent or friend from their own home. Coordinating this nature of transition can be hard. Having to deal with logistics while also worrying about your elderly loved one’s health and finances is enough to send anyone into a stress.
Not only are emotions highly charged, but the complicated elements of deciding what, when and how to conduct the move to senior living can add even more pressure to an already difficult experience.
Here at Palm Lake Care, we pride ourselves on making the transition easy for our residents, regardless of the situation. We care immensely about the lead up to moving day and know how much strain it can sometimes put on a family. Here’s a few tips to make the lead up, and moving day easier for all parties involved.
Get A Head Start
It is so easy to underestimate the time it will take to prepare for the move. There is always more to account for than what meets the eye. It’s no reason to dread it though! There are multiple ways to manage and seamlessly organise a move. Beyond the time it takes to organise supplies and pack, there is also need for time with your elderly loved one to consider what to keep, and what to let go.
Take your time to help your parent or friend decide which things of the things they own are no longer useful. A good way to incentivise elderly loved ones to let go of unnecessary items is by donating to charities. This can bring a sense of moral purpose into the process which makes letting go of things sometimes easier to do.
Before families begin the sorting and organising process, it will help to have a visual of what they are getting into. It’s good to ask yourself some questions like;
“How much space does the new residence have?”
“How many rooms need to be furnished?”
“Do we need to consider a separate place for storage?”
A good way to prepare yourself for the move is by enlisting friends or relatives to come and help out. Moving is undoubtably a big job, regardless of how little or how much is owned. Encourage siblings or other close family members or friends to take a few days off work to help out and ensure the process goes smoothly. Even children and younger members of the family can participate. Many hands make light work!
Surrounding your senior loved one with relatives and friends who are supportive and encouraging can also help ease the emotional stress of moving.
Take Your Time
Trying to deal with an entire move all at once can be overwhelming, especially when that move involves possessions acquired over a lifetime. To make things easier, organise and pack one room at a time beginning with the smallest or least used room.
Taking care of that first room will give you and your elderly loved one a sense of completion to help you maintain optimism throughout the rest of your packing. Ticking rooms off your checklist is extremely satisfactory and gives you an end goal to work towards that makes the whole process much more bearable.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Seniors can be emotionally invested in the homes they are leaving. It’s expected that there will be sadness and apprehension about the move. It can be a tough conversation to have with your ageing loved one but it gives them an opportunity to grieve the change, talk about where they will be living and why they will be living there. This will help your loved one to understand the need for change and while also thinking about the positive elements of the move too.
When seniors are asked to leave their longtime homes, a frequent cause of distress is their perceived loss of control, so give your loved one as much choice as possible as they plan and implement the move.
Sort & Organise
Moving elderly loved ones will almost always involve downsizing. Go through the house and begin to categorise objects to make the move simpler. A great way to do this is by having areas for;
Items to be Moved
Keepsakes for the Family
Items to be Sold/Donated
Items to be Thrown Out
Don’t allow yourself to become a packing droid who lacks emotion, it’s important to honour the emotional attachment to personal belongings and allow your loved one to reminisce as you help them sort out their possessions. Don’t forget to be open to your own emotions too as you help the moving process, especially if you are packing up your childhood home.
Remember, these are not just things you’re moving or throwing out; they’re someone’s memories.
Clean & Repair
After organising and packing are complete, there is still work that needs to be tended to. Whether the house is going to be sold, rented or passed onto another relative - the general requirements are the same.
The house should be cleaned thoroughly and any repairs that need to be done should be considered before passing the home on. It’s better to take care of maintenance issues all at once, rather than dealing with them later while the house is for sale or after renters move in.
Transitions almost always come with some sadness. Give yourself and your elderly loved one some time to pay respect to the life they have lived in the home they are leaving. Make sure this experience is happy and consistently remind them of how exciting life is moving forward.
Help your parent remember that it’s never too late to meet new people, start a new hobby, or practice a new skill. Palm Lake Care’s living environments offer an endless array of facilities available for residents to use and be a part of. From dance floors to indoor bowls; there is something for everyone.
Bringing joy to the lives of residents at Palm Lake Care is what we strive for everyday. We are constantly organising fun days and events that provide enjoyment to all. This is a great way for residents to bond with one another and for family members and friends to catch up over some organised entertainment.
Helping your elderly remember that life can still be fun and exciting is a surefire way to help them remain positive!
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home. Our home is our castle - a shelter from the storm. These old sayings and many more indicate how most of us emotionally view our home. Home is a place where you feel like you fit seamlessly.
Be sure to be open to the emotions involved in a move that your senior loved one may be experiencing and support them on their journey. Remember, Palm Lake Care are always here to help. Of course, each family’s circumstances are unique but we hope these tips help you better plan and execute your elder loved ones next move.