Moving is a big undertaking, and it can be even more so for seniors who are having to downsize to a smaller home. If your parents or a loved one is facing a move that will require paring down their belongings, it’s important to let them know that you’re there for them and can help and support them through this difficult transition.
One of the first steps is to help your loved one make a plan, hire movers, and set some goals. Sit down with them and help to write out a to-do list that will take them through the entire moving process so that everything will go as smoothly as possible. After that, it’s all about organization and asking for assistance from friends and family.
Here are some of the best tips on how to help your loved one get through the move.
Make a plan
Any move needs to start with a good plan, and it’s important to include your loved ones in the process as much as possible. Some seniors find it necessary to move into an assisted living community, while others simply need to downsize to a smaller home or apartment. If your loved one is capable of making decisions for themselves, let them dictate how the process will go. Talk to them about hiring movers, and look at several together online, where you can see customer reviews. You may want a company that can handle large pieces of furniture or will be accommodating to seniors who have medical equipment to move, so make sure you speak to someone in charge before making a decision.
Ask for help
It might be helpful to your loved ones to have friends or family over to assist with going through items and packing, especially if they want to give some of their things to grandchildren or other relatives. Invite a few close loved ones over to help figure out what to throw away, what to keep, and what to donate and delegate packing responsibilities to each of them to keep the scene from becoming chaotic.
Talk to your loved ones to find out what they need for the move. Boxes, packing materials, and cleaning supplies are a given, but they might also require someone to take care of a pet during the hustle and bustle of moving day, or for someone to be responsible for keeping track of medications. Everyone’s needs differ for this busy time, so ask them to be specific and offer your help for anything they may want.
It’s also helpful to go over what your family members might need at the new place, such as furniture, dishes, a space heater, and appliances like a microwave, and find out about the parking situation, any access codes, when trash day is, and what the rules are if the move is to an apartment or assisted living facility.
Help moving day be stress-free
You can help your loved ones have a stress-free moving day by anticipating their needs before they voice them. Give them a break from packing, make or order lunch, keep them hydrated, stay on top of any medications that need to be taken, keep medical equipment safe and handy, and keep the packing area free of clutter to prevent falls or other injuries.
You can also help your loved one shut off utilities or set up new ones in their name at the new place, or simply listen when they feel like talking. Going through decades of belongings and memories is an emotional thing, and your parents may feel sad about the change. Let them talk about their feelings and reminisce with them, too. In fact, you can make the moving process a happier one by inviting friends and family over to help pack and making a night of it, complete with dinner, drinks, and music.
Article courtesy of Michael Longsdon.