Moving is always a hassle, but it’s especially challenging when you’re moving a senior loved one to a new home. There are many scenarios that might prompt the need to move a senior parent to a new home, so it’s your job as the adult children to make sure the move is as smooth as possible. Here are some ways to make moving away easier for your senior parent.
Allow a Healthy Amount of “Grieving”
Seniors are more likely to be emotionally attached to their homes than most other adults. After all, leaving a lifelong home can trigger a perceived loss of control, so your senior parent’s sorrow and hesitation about moving are to be expected. Moving away is a hard transition to make, so be sure to give your parent enough time to “grieve” the change. They should have enough time to spend saying goodbye to neighbors, friends, and their in-home caregiver.
Talk About the New House and The Advantages
By talking to your senior parent about the new home, the advantages of the new area and why the move is happening, you can give him or her more involvement and more of a choice in what’s happening. This will help make the transition easier.
Draw Up a Floor Plan of the New House
Having an idea of what the layout of the new house will be will make the sorting and organizing process much easier during packing. Sitting down with your parent and family to look at the new house’s floor plan and figure out where certain things will go could be a fun way to plan the move and visualize the new home. Plus, it will save you the trouble of lugging heavy items back and forth across the floor to find “the best place” for them once you do get to the house.
Enlist the Help of Relatives for Packing
Moving away can be stressful, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Invite other family members, close friends, and the caregiver to help with packing. Reminisce at the memories as you come across photos, trinkets and old keepsakes. Doing these and other equally supportive and encouraging things for your senior parents can help ease the both the physical and emotional stress of moving away.
Sort, Separate, and Store
Moving always involves downsizing your possessions, and it’s no different when you’re moving your senior parent. Go through the items in the house, categorize them, and distribute, donate or discard as needed. Be careful not to let the process become too systematic. No matter where the items end up, you should honor the emotional attachment your senior parent has to them and allow him or her to reminisce as you help sort through them.
Clean and Repair the Old House for Its New Residents
Once your team of friends and family is done organizing and packing for the move, the last thing to do (short of hitting the road) is cleaning the house. Taking the time to clean and make any repairs is another way that your friends, family and the caregiver can show their love and support for your elderly parent during this transition. Taking care of everything at once will allow for the most closure.
Plan and Budget the Moving Day in Advance
There several strategies for moving your senior parent into a new home, and the most effective one usually depends on how far away the new home is. If the new house is close, moving yourself and embarking on a road trip might be the easiest method. If the home is some distance away, the best method might be to enlist the help of professional movers to transport the boxes and furniture while you and your parent fly or take a train into town.
Help Find a New At-Home Caregiver
Saying goodbye to an at-home caretaker can be a heartbreaking experience for any senior moving away. After all, seniors see and interact with their caretakers every day. The idea of never seeing their caretaker and friend again can be hard for your parent, so help them build a new relationship with a new caregiver in their new home. Do research and look for professionals with glowing reviews. Finding a great at-home caretaker will help make your parent feel more at ease in their new home— and you’ll both have a new friend.
Make Moving Easier with Help from Florida First Senior Home Care
Moving away doesn’t have to be a sad or stressful experience. If you or someone you know is moving their elderly parent to the South Florida area and needs a referral for a new in-home caregiver, please call Florida First Senior Home Care at 561-771-5980. Our referral service can help you find the best match for your parent or elderly loved one.