It’s no surprise that moving houses is a tough venture to take. Still, millions worldwide move houses yearly for different reasons, including families with their elderly loved ones.
According to a recent US census bureau report, over 3 million older adults aged 65 and over move each year, either to nursing homes/assisted living facilities or in their private houses. Often, the main motive of families with elderly family members to relocate and move houses is for their senior loved ones to be closer to them.
This is necessary, especially if your elderly loved ones already have declining health. Being close to their families and relatives will give everyone peace of mind knowing your senior family members can immediately get help and assistance when necessary. This also eases the feelings of loneliness that many elderly adults feel at their age.
Other families may also move their elderly loved ones to senior living communities for similar reasons.
Moving With Your Elderly Loved Ones: A Guide
But the whole process can be extra challenging, especially for seniors, whether you’re moving with your senior loved ones into a new home or an assisted living facility. Besides the stress and exhaustion of packing and moving your things, you must also ensure that your elderly loved ones are safe, secure, and comfortable throughout the whole moving process.
And so, this article will provide you with a few strategies and tips on how to move with your elderly loved ones with ease and less stress.
Hire a moving company
Since you’re moving with your elderly loved ones, it’s recommended that you hire a moving company to assist you with the entire process. Discuss with the rest of your family members which moving company is best for your situation, how much you plan to budget for their service, and what services you wish to avail.
Hiring a moving company can ease the burden of packing and relocating your belongings. As they handle all your stuff safely, you can focus on your elderly loved ones and ensure their needs are met throughout the moving process. You may also plan on your moving date.
Ideally, you can move during the spring or summer when the weather is comfortable and manageable for your senior loved ones.
Plan effectively with your new home’s blueprint
Obtain a blueprint of your new home and use this when planning your move. Check each room from the blueprint and write down the things that will be moving in these rooms.
You can also get the measurements of your furniture pieces and determine if they’ll fit in the new house. This planning approach will give you a better idea of what items to bring and not to bring for the move.
Communicate with your senior loved ones
Although your elderly loved ones may not be able to help much during the packing and lifting stage, you must involve them during decision-making, especially if this move is for their well-being.
According to resources, seniors are more prone to feel relocation stress syndrome (RSS) because they can emotionally invest in their previous homes. The moving process won’t only be stressful for them, but leaving their home could cause them anxiety, depression, and other general health problems.
To reduce their risk of experiencing RSS, always communicate with your senior loved ones and involve them in the decision makings. More importantly, have a deep conversation with them about the upcoming move and give them space and time to grieve the change and understand the reason for this move.
Leaving their longtime home can cause great distress, especially if they feel it’s out of their control. Thus, make sure you give them as much choice as possible during the move and listen to their suggestions, thoughts, and complaints.
Declutter and get rid of excess belongings
Almost 1.4 million Americans are reported to resort to compulsive hoarding, most of which are elderly adults. This is because most senior adults tend to develop a deep emotional attachment to inanimate objects, especially if these things hold precious memories.
Thus, before you donate or sell your used items, involve your senior loved ones and ask for their consent. You don’t want to start giving away things that could be highly sentimental for them, as this will only make the moving process more painful and frustrating to them.
Let your elderly loved ones help sort through their stuff and give them time and space to divide them (e.g., donate, keep, dispose of). Honor the emotional attachment to their belongings and let them reminisce while sorting and packing their possessions.
You can also open up your emotions, especially if this place was your childhood home. This way, your senior loved ones won’t feel alone with their grief and longing as you’re about to be relocating away from your previous house.
Prepare the new house
To help your elderly loved ones quickly adjust to your new home, you can prepare the place in advance. For example, before the moving day, get the house in order and set up their bedroom first, including the sentimental decorations they usually keep in their room.
You must also ensure that the house is elderly-friendly. Here are some ways to make your new home senior-friendly:
- Switch door knobs with door handles
- Install grab bars on tubs and toilets
- Place ample lighting all over the space
- Place carpets on slippery areas
A senior-friendly home will help your elderly loved ones adjust better and look forward positively to the moving day.
Going Through The Moving Day With Your Senior Loved Ones
Moving with your elderly loved ones may be a daunting endeavor. Besides the complicated logistics involved in the moving process, emotions are also highly charged, especially for your senior loved ones. But with these tips, you can execute a smoother and less stressful relocation with your elderly loved ones. Remember that your loved ones are your most precious cargo during a house move.