Relocating the Elderly: A Helpful Guide

A home is more than just four walls and a roof. Home is a place that provides comfort and safety. A place that holds memories. All of these qualities grow the longer you live in the same home. Because of this, having to move to a new home can be very upsetting – especially for the elderly. Not only is it harder for seniors to endure a move physically, but it is also difficult emotionally. After all, they have spent years of their time, effort and money to create a home they truly love. Moving seniors can be an enormous challenge, requiring time, organization, and lots of patience. You will also need the assistance of the guide below that will hold your hand as you go through all of the stages of the senior relocation process.

Communication

Moving house is always a time of difficulty and worry. But for the elderly, leaving a cozy, comfortable place that has been their home for many years can be a time of great sadness and apprehension. The main cause of this distress is the perceived sense of loss – a loss of control, independence and self. In order to ensure a smooth transition, reducing your parents sense of loss and powerlessness is a must. To do this, communication is of utmost importance. To create an open line of communication:

  • Discuss the matter at length. Talk with your parents about why they need to move and their options for where they can move to;
  • Be patient. Give your parents time to think about moving, grieve their loss, and also accept the changes that are to come;
  • Be positive. Point out the good aspects of them moving – less responsibilities, less work, increased safety, better healthcare, the chance to spend more time with you and their grandchildren (if moving closer to you).
  • Give them choices. Let them choose their new home or living community. Allow them to be part of the moving preparations, letting them decide what belongings they will take with them, etc.

Planning

After a decision is made about whether or not your parents will be moving – and where they will be moving to – it is time to start planning the relocation. With every move, a great deal of time, effort and organization occurs. For a senior move, you will need to accomplish a number of important tasks, such as:

  • Downsizing your parent’s belongings.
  • Packing your parent’s belongings.
  • Hiring professional movers that are experts in handling a senior move.

Packing

When packing for a move, the elderly are not just packing mere belongings. They are packing memories, keepsakes, and other essential elements from their life. Because they will need to limit the amount of items they move with them, packing can be a longer-than-usual process. To make the packing process efficient and stress-free, you should:

Be considerate and patient. While you may want to just throw things into boxes and donate gobs of other items, it’s important to be considerate and patient with your parents at this time. Ask them what they’d like to do themselves and what they will need help with. While it’s a good idea to help them sort their belongings and steer them in the direction of getting rid of nonessential items, be sure to let them have the final say in what they keep and what they say goodbye to.

Start early. As we just mentioned, it can take time for your parents to decide what belongings to keep and which ones to toss. This is why it’s important to start the packing process early – around three – four months before moving day.

Begin with simple tasks. Easing into the packing process will make it much more bearable on everyone involved. So begin with simple tasks first. For example, try having your parents pack a room in their home that doesn’t hold much emotional attachment, such as a guest room or study.

Another way to help make the moving process easier is to focus on one area at a time. This will make everything that needs to be accomplished less overwhelming.

Pack an essentials box. The first few day after a move is always the hardest. Unpacking, finding specific items you need, and so on. This is why packing an essentials box is a must In this specific box, pack the most must-needed items your parents will need during those first few days after moving. This way they will have easy access to the necessities – medication, toiletries, clothes, basic kitchen items, etc.

Ensure the safety of belongings. Moving is hard enough without suffering the loss of items that were damaged during transportation. While packing, take the necessary steps to ensure all of your parent’s belongings are safely packed to ensure they make it from Point A to Point B on moving day.

Label all boxes. To keep the packing process organized, be sure to label all moving boxes, furniture and other belongings clearly. When labeling, include the specific location that each box, etc. is to go in at your parents’ new home. It is also a good idea to label boxes with their contents to make unpacking easier. For items that require special instructions, be sure to state them on the labels.

Moving Day

When the day of the move arrives, emotions will run high for everyone involved, especially your parents. You will need to be extra cautious in order to keep everything running smoothly and error-free. Here are some things to consider on this stressful day:

  • Be present on moving day to supervise all moving activities as well as the emotional state of your parents.
  • Take the necessary precautions to eliminate the risk of accidents and injuries during the move.
  • Set aside any items that should not be loaded on the moving truck (an essentials box, valuable items, or important documents).
  • Take the time to double check the house before leaving it for good. Ensure nothing has been left behind.
  • Create a safe and comfortable trip for the senior(s) as they relocate to their new home.
  • After the move, help your parents settle in to their new home. Place all o their belongings in the correct places and ensure they are able to freely and safely navigate through their new home.
  • If your parents have moved to a retirement community or assisted living facility, ensure they know how to reach staff for assistance.

For more moving tips, click here. For professional moving services, contact us at 800.771.0151.

Top Things to Do Before You Move

Everyone knows that moving day is a big day. Not only is it a busy day, but it can also be a very long day. This is why it is vital to plan and prepare for the big move ahead of time. Otherwise, you risk many problems. To eliminate these risks, here are the top things you must do before you move.

Selecting the Right Home

You may love a particular house, but there are more factors to take into consideration than the number of bedrooms and exterior appeal. If you fail to properly research your new area and to assess your lifestyle, needs and preferences when choosing a home, you risk costly and consequential mistakes. When considering housing options, pay serious attention to these things:

Location. Location is key, and while an affordable property that meets all of your requirements is the goal, if it is in an inconvenient location, it has the potential to be a major problem, causing troubles in your everyday life. Be sure your new home will be conveniently located in a safe and prosperous neighborhood. You’ll want it to be close to work, your children’s school, reliable healthcare centers, local amenities and even some entertainment locales.

Lifestyle. Do you need a place where your kids and pets can run around and be safe? Do you want quick access to entertainment and nightlife activities? These types of questions are important to ask yourself before making a decision on a new home. So, assess your lifestyle, needs and preferences when researching housing options in order to avoid choosing the wrong place to live.

Size. Whether opting for a house, apartment or something different, be sure to figure out what size it needs to be. A family of five won’t be comfortable in a two-bedroom home, just as a mcmansion will be much too large when living solo. Buying or renting a home of inadequate size can cause inconvenience and/or financial loss, so avoid this at all costs.

Condition. Before you make a decision on a new home, it’s important to inspect its current condition. If it needs a lot of attention, you will need to figure out the additional financial burden it may place upon you. You will also need to ensure you have the necessary amount of time for repairs and renovations so it will be in solid, livable condition before moving in.

Cost. A large home in a prosperous neighborhood may be tempting, but be sure to take into account the cost. This includes rent/mortgage, utilities, maintenance costs and so on. Taking on an unaffordable home is a huge mistake, so be mindful of what you can and cannot afford.

Prepare Your Home Before Moving In

After selecting your ideal home, it’s important to prepare your home before moving in. This means fixing any problems or performing any renovations. Moving into a new home that is still enduring ongoing repairs and restorations can turn into an instant nightmare. So be sure to prep your new home before moving day. Here are some ways to do so:

Create a Floor Plan. If your home is in need of renovations, it is a good idea to plan ahead. One way to do this is by creating a floor plan. A floor plan is the ultimate way for you to create the perfect interior design for your home. By figuring out the ideal location each of your furniture pieces, household appliances and other items will go, you will eliminate moving day dilemmas, like finding out your couch is too large for the space. You will also save time, money and frustration because you won’t have to rearrange furniture and other items several times to find the perfect spot.

Deep Clean. As you move into your new home, you will, of course, need to clean as you unpack and get settled in – removing boxes, trash, etc. But, it is also a very good idea to provide your home with a deep cleaning. This doesn’t mean just mopping the floors or scrubbing the bathtubs. It also means cleaning air ducts and changing air filters, washing windows inside and out, and ensuring the interior is free of dust and debris. Performing these tasks before moving in will make for a less stressful and lengthy post-move to-do list.

Transfer/Turn On Utilities

Another important thing to do before you show up at your new home with all of your belongings is to make sure you have transferred/turned on all utilities. This is a very crucial pre-moving task to take care of because you will need the utilities running as soon as you arrive at your new place. Not doing so will leave you with a long list of problems, like being without power, which means no lights and an inability to prepare warm food or keep food cold in the fridge. It also means no water, so you won’t be able to take that much-needed shower after a long day of moving.

To make sure you are ready for the big move, ABC Movers can help. Contact us today at 800.771.0151 or visit our website.