Moving can be traumatic for the elderly, especially if the move signifies a life change like the loss of a spouse, relocation from independent living to a retirement home, or moving in with an adult child.
If you are helping an aging parent, grandparent, or neighbor move, follow these simple tips to help ease the transition:
Get the Lay of the New Land
Knowing the floor plan at the new place will make it easier to help seniors sort through their things and pack for the move. Some items may have to go into storage if the new place is smaller, and nursing homes or assisted living facilities may have restrictions on what residents are allowed to keep in their rooms.
Be Generous in the Planning
You may be able to pack your entire house in three days, but it will probably take longer for an older adult to sort through a lifetime of memories. Leave plenty of time in your move planning so that no one feels rushed or unnecessarily stressed out.
During the move you’re going to encounter mountains of things you don’t think should be kept. Try to remember that older adults may have a hard time letting go of sentimental items; you can help by offering to pass treasures down to family members or to donate unused items to a favorite charity.
Seek Professional Help
It might be easier to have a professional moving company participate in the relocation process. Many companies specialize in helping seniors move, and some older adults may actually prefer working with movers to creating friction within the family.