Moving to a new home, especially when seniors are involved, can be a very overwhelming experience. For seniors, just the thought of leaving behind the house they have called home for a long time may cause distress and apprehension. Here are some tips to keep in mind, if you’re moving with an older adult, be it a senior parent or elderly loved one.
Communicate the Plan
Before finalizing any plan to move, it is important to communicate the plan to your senior parents. Have an open discussion and ask for their thoughts about the possibility of relocating to a new house. Involving seniors in the planning process will let them know that you value their opinion. Seniors may also need more time to decide so don’t push the idea of moving too hard and give them time to reflect. To make the decision easier, take your senior parents with you when you visit the new neighborhood so they can feel comfortable. This will also provide the opportunity for them to start picturing themselves in the new home.
Start the Moving Process Early
Moving will not only be physically taxing but it can also take an emotional toll for seniors. While it is important to involve your parent in planning for the move, you should handle the important tasks such as budgeting the moving costs or hiring a moving company.
Moving to a new home can be more difficult if your parents have been residing in your old home for a long time and have developed a sentimental attachment to the place. Weeks prior to the move, you can start helping your senior parents in packing the items needed for the move. Sorting and packing items can trigger different emotions because during this stage, the reality of moving to a new place will begin to set in. To lessen feelings of sadness and doubt, have your parents pack belongings in a room that doesn’t hold much sentimental value, like the bathroom or kitchen.
Involve them in Planning the Layout of the New Home
Change is good, but for your elderly loved ones, minimizing change may be a better option to help them adjust easier. In designing the layout of the new home, try to arrange furniture in the same way as the old home and use similar paint colors or wall papers. Doing this will create a sense of familiarity and help make the new residence feel like home.
You can also suggest installing fixtures like safety rails in the bathroom, a ramp on the porch for a wheelchair, or a hand-held shower head. Asking your parents for inputs will also help you prepare the new home to accommodate their needs.
Help them Pack Moving Day Essentials
Help your senior parents prepare for moving day by making sure they have all their essentials with them. Pack items like their medication, toiletries, extra clothes, food, and important documents in a survival bag so your parent can easily have access to them when needed.
Always keep in mind that seniors will take more time to prepare for a move so give them time and be patient. Pay attention to both their physical and emotional needs to make the transition a less stressful one.