Helping a senior loved one relocate so that they can be closer to family or live in a safer environment is not an easy task. For one, old age, loss of a partner, or health issues may be the reason for the move. You have to consider those situations to make the transition smoother and easier. Also, moving homes, no matter your age, is a huge undertaking that requires time, effort, and a lot of adjustments.
Whether your senior parent plans to move to your house, downsize to a senior apartment, or transition to an assisted living community, you can help them by following these tips:
Focus on decluttering and downsizing
Many older adults have spent their lives collecting meaningful possessions. So, if your parent is moving to another place, they will have to leave things behind. Guide them through the process by letting them start small first; suggest that they start with an area with low sentimental value, like a guest room. As they move through other rooms, help them make tough decisions by offering to sort items into “keep,” “donate,” and “throw” piles. Gently suggest changes if they keep on adding items into the “keep” pile.
Arrange changes in health care services before the move
Your senior loved one will need new health care providers after the move. So before hopping on the moving truck, research about the new place, get referrals from their current doctors, and make sure to set appointments after the move. Don’t also forget to transfer prescriptions to a new pharmacy in advance.
Make the new place feel like home
Whether your elderly loved one is moving to your house or a new apartment, make sure the new place feels like home even before they set their foot there. Organize the place and put some personal touches. If your senior mother is used to using certain pots and pans, be sure to place those in an easy-to-find area in your home or the apartment’s kitchen. You can even design their room similar to their old bedroom.
You can use the move to enjoy new opportunities. If your elderly father has always wanted a new woodworking shed or a writing desk in his room, make them happen to create an exciting new space.
With the threat of the coronavirus today, ensure the new place is a safe, healthy environment. See if it needs HVAC system and duct cleaning services or requires installment of a new air purifier. Consider adding equipment that can make sanitizing their new place easier and faster. While you’re at it, install non-slip mats, bathroom grab bars, and other things that make the house suitable for limited mobility.
Plan moving day around your senior loved one’s needs
Most older adults can’t endure a long road trip without multiple stops, while some may even require full-service medical transport. So, depending on your elderly loved one’s needs, plan to have extra travel time. If flying is the better option, contact the airline in advance to ask for special requests or assistance. And if your senior relative needs extra care, consider senior-focused transportation companies. These companies offer non-emergency medical transit that may come with wheelchair, beds, and nurses.
Above all, help your aging loved one move forward emotionally. When someone has lived in one place for three decades or so, they may find it hard to leave things and memories behind. But by being supportive throughout the entire process and offering new opportunities, you can make the move a more positive experience.