Preparing your Elderly Loved Ones to Move

As your elderly loved ones get older, they begin to need more care and assistance. Situations such as your loved one wandering off from home, forgetting to administer medication or unexpected injuries are all cause for alarm.

When their mobility, cognitive abilities and capacity to care for themselves are compromised, it may be time to move them into a new place. Relocating an elderly loved one into a new living arrangement requires a gentle approach. Whether you are moving them into a new home, assisted living or a senior community, it helps to let them know that you are willing to support them throughout the move.

Consider special needs

Different homes cater to a variety of needs, depending on your loved ones’ level of independence. Determine which arrangements will benefit them long-term, including health conditions, dietary requirements, logistics and visitor programs.

When shopping around for removalists, ask the retirement home/facility staff if they have any recommended moving services. Take time to research which removalists are trained to handle moving elderly individuals with special needs.

Communicate effectively

Have a clear and straightforward discussion with your elderly loved ones covering all aspects of the move and their new living conditions. Be patient and calm as many seniors can get distressed about leaving their homes especially if it’s a house where they have valuable memories. If the move is not voluntary, they might show some hostility. Allow them to grieve and hopefully accept the changes that are about to happen.

Make sure you answer all of their questions and tell them what to expect in their new home. Once everything is settled, you can proceed to actively engage them in the moving process.

Start early

As with any house move, time is of the essence. Help your loved one get their things in order and packed for the move.

  • Suggest decluttering but do not coerce them.
  • Guide them while decluttering. Your loved one may find themselves mulling over a sentimental piece, interrupting the process.
  •  If they still decide to keep plenty of furniture and miscellaneous items after downsizing. Offer the option of keeping the surplus items in storage but set a hard limit on storage space.
  • Book a removalist service weeks before the move.
  • Help them pack important items inside their moving bag. Prepare a week’s supply of medication and their medical equipment (e.g. blood pressure monitor)

Plan moving day

If possible, make yourself available on the day of the move. Your elderly loved one will feel safer and more comfortable with the presence of family. Let the professional removalist do the lifting and loading, as your family member will need a bit of briefing. If there is still some resistance, assure them that you are just a phone call away and congratulate them on their progress so far.

Dealing with the changing needs of your aging loved ones can be physically and emotionally draining, so try to get as much support as you can from related family members. In the end, it will all be worth it.

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