Guest post by Jim Vogel, ElderAction.org
For a senior, the moving process is an emotional and physically taxing occasion that can be met with resistance. It is hard to leave such an instrumental part of their life behind as they move into smaller dwellings or an assisted living facility. As their caretaker or trusted loved one, it is up to you to ease their anxieties surrounding the move and help them to transition into their new home sans stress. Here are a few ways to make the moving process easier and stress-free.
Hire movers or ask family to help
Your first order of business will be to find a team of people to assist with the move. With seniors suffering from conditions like brittle bones or having limited mobility, it is best to have them not participate in lifting boxes or moving furniture. Even if they may seem in good health, one mishap while moving may land them in the hospital so it’s much better to avoid that possibility altogether. It’s not a bad idea to hire movers. Just shop around and compare rates so you get the best deal you can.
Several moving companies offer services that assist seniors with the packing process or you may hire a Senior Move Manager, which is someone who plans the entire move from start to finish. Senior Move Managers are members of the National Association of Senior Move Managers and it is their mission to facilitate the physical and emotional aspects of relocation for older adults and to deliver their services with compassion and integrity. Their responsibilities are to create a customized floor plan for the new home so your senior can visualize exactly where their belongings will go. They will also assemble a team of movers and supervise the packing process as well as setting up the new home. Hiring a Senior Move Manager is a great way to make sure the moving process goes as smoothly as possible and it is truly an all-in-one experience.
Having the family to help with the move is also a great option because it keeps the process more personal and your senior may respond well to having familiar faces help them through such an emotional process. Because they may be in such a fragile state, it is important for everyone assisting to have a positive and uplifting attitude to help dispel your senior’s worries and anxieties about moving. Be sure to show them support in those moments where they feel sadness but be sure to encourage them and show them how to focus on the positives of moving into a new home.
Packing the essentials
Pack a suitcase with all of your senior’s essential needs and be sure that it is readily accessible upon arriving at the new place. This suitcase should have clothes, medications, toiletries and any other basic need. Having this bag prepared early will eliminate having to search through boxes in the new home and it will help make your senior feel more comfortable in their new surroundings. If your senior has any medical supplies and equipment be sure that they are easily accessible and are not damaged during the move.
Make the new place feel like home
The best way to make the moving process less traumatic for your senior is to make their new place feel like home immediately. Pull out their favorite things such as pillows, blankets, and keepsakes and have them in direct view as soon as they walk into their home. Recognition is an important factor when dealing with relocating a senior so the more familiar pieces they have in front of them, the happier and more content they will be.
By planning ahead you can help your senior move into their new home with comfort and ease. Although this will be a trying time for them, as long as you treat the process with patience and care, they will come around. Take pride in being a part of such a huge step in this new journey in your loved one’s life!
ABOUT JIM VOGEL
Jim Vogel, co-founder of ElderAction, is passionate about promoting senior health and safety. He enjoys sharing valuable information with seniors and their caregivers.