Moving is always difficult no matter when in your life it happens. But when you’re older, moving is no longer an ordinary task. Whether you or your parents are moving to a retirement community or assisted living facility, or down-sizing to a space that is more appropriate for your new lifestyle, moving can be stressful and emotionally draining especially for the senior citizens, retirees, and the elderly.
Many seniors find it difficult to leave the place they have grown and substitute it with an unfamiliar environment so a good preparation for moving is required.
Whatever the reason for moving, take extra care and try to consider the following tips when assisting with their move:
Planning, Packing, and Sorting
Elderly home removal often requires a little bit more preparation than a regular move. As some have lived at their homes for decades, change can become quite upsetting. It can be caused by their fear of losing closeness to family members, familiar surroundings that mean everything to them, and their own independence. Worst of all, these fears could come all at once. For this reason, it is very important to explain the details and reason for moving at the very beginning so that when the day comes, it will be easier for people affected to understand and adjust to it.
Getting an early start gives you time to clean out areas that have been stored away for years. For starters, cleaning and wiping surfaces can be done early on so that it does not become a bother later.
Packing personal property and figuring out what needs to go is an important step. It is a good time to decide what you need or do not need. Through sorting, you will have the option to organize garage sales after determining which items to give or throw away. Speaking from experience, from someone who has a lot of hobbies, the list gets lengthier the longer you wait – multiply that to the years of the elderly. Of course, the hardest thing about sorting is that many of the items will have sentimental value to the owner. It may seem like useless clutter to you, but to them it may hold important memories. Letting them work with you will ensure that you don’t accidentally throw out things they hold dear and would prevent adding further stress to them. In turn, taking their opinion into consideration would lessen their anxiety towards change. It would give them the sense of having power over choosing which goes and which stays. It can also be seen as an opportunity to bond with them, getting a glimpse of how they lived from the stories their possessions elicit. To speed this up, you can check out the Help You Move website for detailed advice on how to get things started.
In case you have limited time, you can also opt to hire professional packing services like what MiniMovers provides. It will help you get the job done even faster as professional pre-packers are trained to work efficiently and in a well-organized manner.
Getting Ready for the Move
With so much to do, the early stage of moving is a good time to sort out the logistics. Paperwork, moving dates, storage, contacting a real estate to put you place up for sale, letting the landlord know about the move in advance, as well as other possible legal matters should be handled as soon as possible. These individual factors can all add to stress as you get closer to the move.
One of the best things you can do is let the elderly resident see their new location. Let them see how it is laid out and let them have a hand in planning how they want it to look. Afterwards, take a tour around the area and look at places nearby which they will eventually visit like supermarkets, banks, post offices, etc. If they get to know the local area, it can help them get peace of mind when the time comes for the move.
Preparing the New Home
Preparing their new home is important. This includes making sure that maintenance on the home is done and that everything is working well. Even a nice new coat of paint on the walls would be a good addition to make the elderly feel that leaving their previous home is a good change.
The other thing to keep in mind is safety. Make sure that additions have been made and designed to make the new senior occupant comfortable and safe. Rails for both the bathroom and steps should be available; if necessary, ramps for both the entry and exit as well. These should be installed and tested before moving day comes to ensure that everything is stable and ready for them to use.
Use a Good Moving Company
It is important to pick removalists that have been trained properly especially those that can anticipate and understand the needs of older people. Average furniture removals can be done by DTI accredited removalists but how many of them would think to provide special attention to the older residents moving in? Not considering their feelings can result in the failure of a move or can even turn into a possible health concern for the elderly.
Finding the right moving company can take what is normally a stressful time and turn it into a little fun. When contacting them, ensure you ask questions. Find out if they will take the furniture out of the individual rooms and place them in the correct rooms in the new home, and ask if they will ensure that everything is hooked up and ready for when the elderly resident enters.
Moving the elderly is a stressful time for both them and yourself. Ensuring that you are prepared and that they are in the loop will make a huge difference when the time comes. So put yourself in their shoes. Determine how they would feel so that you can think of ways on what would make them feel better and, from there, know what you should do.
Have you needed to move an elderly person before? What did you do to help them feel better? Let me know in the comments section below and tell me what you think.
Thank you for reading and move you next time.
Sean has been in the removalist industry for many years, and is an expert in moving. He prides himself on helping people move with as little hassle to them. Connect with Sean O’Hagan