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 reasons and scenarios that can arise that 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.
Tips for Helping your Loved One Move to a Retirement Home
Many seniors are not overly excited to leave their own home 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:
- Offer reassurance and support
- Contact family members
- Establish a plan
- Prepare for the move
Offer Reassurance and Support
Your loved one is likely going to need a lot of encouragement and unwavering optimism 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. This will likely evoke feelings of grief and sadness, which can result in reluctance or even opposition to this new move.
What they will need from you is time and support. They will need time to come to terms with this move, and may feel like they are losing control over their life decisions.
Positive conversations about the new living arrangements are good way to get things moving in the right direction. Plus, allow seniors to have as much input as possible about the moving process.
Contact Family Members
A move of this magnitude is quite serious in most cases, and you will need all the assistance you can get. Contact relatives and friends to see who is interested in pitching in to help out.
Not only do many hands make light work, but your loved one will likely 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.
It is a good idea to have a list of tasks and chores that need to be completed, to see who is available to take care of what.
Establish a Plan
Good planning is absolutely key to a successful move. Depending on how long your loved on has lived in this home, there will be a lot of organization to do and decisions about scaling back to make.
Chances are the space being moved into is smaller, with a lot less storage space. 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.
Sorting and organizing will be a big job, a systematic plan can reduce unexpected complications and unforeseen incidents.
This is presumably the most involved task of the moving process. This will also a require a systematic approach for the quickest and most effective results.
Room by room is good way to go with it. For example, you could start in the kitchen and place every item into one of 4 piles:
- Things to be moved to the new residence
- Things to be kept by family members
- Things to donate
- Things to trash
It may be instinctive to want to rush through this process as quickly as possible, but keep in mind that many of these items will have emotional attachment, not to be insensitively pitched in the garbage.
Prepare for the Move
Once all the belongings in the house have been organized appropriately, the next step is to plan the actual move.
The home may need to 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.