Whether you are moving your parents to a retirement home, downsizing to a smaller place or moving them into your home, take extra care and consider the following tips LifeFone has to offer when supporting them through what can often be a difficult transition.
Moving allows many seniors to enjoy a new life that often includes better opportunities for socialization, stimulation, improved nutrition and exercise—all important aspects of thriving as we age. But let's not sugarcoat the truth: moving is tough for everyone, but it is toughest for older adults.
Start Small: Take a day or two to spend with your parents and discuss the move and what to expect. Large tasks should be broken down into small ones. This may make the job seem easier and not as overwhelming.
Allow them to be involved: If they already have access to the new home, take them over and get acquainted with their new surroundings. Let them discuss furniture placement and begin to prepare their space accordingly. Taking pictures of their current living room and bedroom can help determine how things will fit in their new place.
Be Kind: This may seem like a given. However, when helping your parents to sort and pack up their home, keep in mind that they have lived a good amount of years in their home. As they begin to sort and pack, it may take longer than you expect as memories can form from anything.
Help Sort: Like all of us, older adults keep things they don’t necessarily need or will ever use. Be gentle when suggesting they get rid of a possession. Perhaps offering to give a certain item to a family member would help them decide to get rid of it. It’s often easier for them to get rid of something when they know a loved one will have it. You could also ask them if it’s an item they would like to donate.
Purchase a Medical Alert System: It’s important for older adults living on their own to have a medical alert system. As they move into unfamiliar surroundings, it’s even more important. At LifeFone, we have choice of options for your mom or dad. The peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re loved one has access to emergency medical help is well worth the investment.
Hire outside help: Sometimes it’s easier for an older adult to work with a third party than with their own children when it comes to sorting and packing. There are many professional packers who specialize in moving seniors. It may help you also, so you won’t have to miss work, or other important tasks in your daily life.
In the end, remember this is a big adjustment for them. Be involved with moving your parents as much as you can, and allow them they space to take the time they need.