Moving home can be difficult for anyone, but it is particularly challenging for the elderly. If you have an elderly relative who is looking to move into a new property or retirement home, they will likely need your assistance to make the move go as smoothly as possible. To help with this, consider the three tips below:
Things to Think About Before Planning the Move
Helping an elderly person move into a nursing home is much more than packing boxes. Of course you will need to physically help them prepare to move home, but with elderly relatives, you also need to consider their specific physical and emotional needs. These considerations can make the process more challenging for everyone involved, so it's extremely important that you think through your relative's specific requirements before planning the move.
Everyone's physical capabilities deteriorate as they grow older, and you need to accommodate this. Your loved ones will need a significant amount of assistance in organising their belongings and will fatigue much sooner than they may have during their younger years. As such, you will need to have efficient processes in place in order to ensure the move goes without any problems.
When planning the move, it's important to remain calm during the move. Your elderly relative will have a lot of pride and could easily become frustrated because of their physical limitations. In such cases, it is important to maintain your composure and to ensure you don't lash out at your loved one during this difficult time. Remember, in the vast majority of cases, they will be frustrated with their own limitations, not with you.
Preparing for Moving Day
In terms of the actual planning considerations for the move itself, you should ensure that there is a sizable margin to carry out the physical work. For younger people, moving home can usually be completed in two or three days. However, your elderly relatives will very likely become overwhelmed if you try to rush them through the process. Therefore, it's always best to divide things into manageable chunks that can be carried out over a longer period of time. Dividing everything into smaller chunks will also ensure that your loved one does not feel overwhelmed or become stressed during the moving process. Similarly, carrying out the move bit by bit will ensure that they are physically well rested between each segment.
Although the physical limitations of your loved one are the most important thing to consider when helping them move home, they are certainly not the only thing to think about. Rather, you also need to be sensitive to your relative's emotional needs to ensure that they don't become upset during the move itself. If your relative has lived in the same home or neighbourhood for a long period of time, packing up and moving home can be a particularly difficult process. Finding old pictures, clothes, or ornaments can be a very nostalgic experience for your loved one, so make sure you don't overwhelm them by rushing through this process. Give then the space and time they need to come to terms with moving out of their home.
Helping Them Clear Clutter
In the overwhelming majority of cases, elderly people will either be downsizing and moving into a smaller property or moving into a retirement home. This can be great for an elderly person, particularly if they live alone and feel like their current property is too large for them. With that said, downsizing inevitably means decluttering, which can be a difficult process to work through for an elderly person.
Discarding your property is difficult for everyone, but this difficulty can be exacerbated for the elderly. The reason for this is that anything they currently have, they have likely held on to for some time and for a specific reason. Getting rid of this stuff can be difficult, so make sure you plan well in advance to help your loved on prioritize their necessary possessions and discard anything that would only take up space in their new home.
Moving home can be difficult, and the process may be too much for you and your family to deal with without help. If you feel that the move is becoming overwhelming, consider contacting a professional moving company that will be able to help you carry out the move safely and efficiently. Consider a company like Bekins Van Lines Inc if you go this route.