Are you contemplating a move for an older loved one in your life? Whether you’re moving mom into a nursing home or trying to convince dad to downsize, moving an older adult presents unique challenges.
This process can be both emotionally and physically straining. But despite the problems, moving an older adult is often necessary once they begin to need more assistance. To help make the move go more smoothly, it’s important to be prepared.
Here are 5 moving tips for older adults to consider.
1.Watch your attitude
Your loved one is facing a major life change. They’re going to be processing a lot of emotions during this time. Not all those emotions are going to be positive. There may even be a bit of whining, yelling, or complaining.
When your loved one gets discouraged, do your best to remain positive. Your attitude really does matter, and can be an encouragement to your loved one. If you find yourself getting frustrated, take a few moments to breathe deeply.
Try to exhibit patience, tact, and grace. These traits will help you both get through this transition with your relationship intact.
2. Communicate through all stages
Communication is key to a successful move with an older adult. Throughout each stage of the process, you need to keep your loved one in the loop.
Talk about benefits of the move. Go and visit the new home or watch online video tours together. Provide updates on the paperwork process, or financial implications.
Above all, take time to listen. Your loved one wants to feel heard during this process. They want to have a say about their future.
3. Provide choices
Making a choice is empowering, so whenever possible, let your loved one choose. This can be everything from selecting a home from a list of potentials, to deciding what color to paint the walls of a new bedroom.
When packing, listen to the wishes of your loved ones. They can help decide what to pack, and what to donate or trash. If necessary, go through the house together item by item, and let them choose what to do with everything.
4. Take time to reminisce
Your loved one is leaving a home full of memories, keepsakes, and mementos. To you it may be a house full of stuff, but to them everything is priceless.
Don’t rush the packing process. Take time to reflect and reminisce together. Let your loved one share stories and take a trip through memory lane.
If moving out of area, take time to drive to favorite spots one last time. Let your loved one get a solid sense of closure before leaving town.
5. Have a moving day plan
Moving day will be chaotic. Having a plan helps.
Think through the day. If your loved one will be there, give them specific jobs to do. This will keep them from wandering around or getting in the way of the movers.
It may be wise to have your loved one spend time away from the house while the moving truck is loaded. Consider having them leave early for the new location or spending the day with local friends or relatives.
No matter where your loved one is on moving day, here are some other tips to streamline the process:
- Eat simple meals
- Use disposable dishes
- Have boxes packed before the truck arrives
- Clearly label each box to make unpacking easier
- Keep medications, valuables, and family heirlooms in a separate box to go in a personal vehicle
- Gas up the vehicles before moving day
- Gather friends and family to help clean the old house, or pay a housekeeper to do it
Do you know someone who is getting ready to move an older adult? Share this post with them to help make the move less stressful.