Tips for Moving a Senior Parent
When you’re moving a senior parent you should be sensitive to how hard the move will be on your parent. Moving is one of the most difficult life changes that people make, and making a move as a senior is even more difficult. Leaving a familiar home, a familiar town, and friends that have been a support system is difficult for seniors. Whether your parent is moving a facility or just downsizing the family home to something more manageable here are a few things you can do to make the transition easier:
Do Some Creative Problem Solving
If your senior parent is downsizing it can be very tough for them to let go of all the items they’ve accumulated over the years, but their new home might not enough space to hold all the items they have a sentimental attachment to. That’s when you need to get creative. Try to find solutions that will allow them to focus on the memories they’ve made with the items and let go of the actual items.
For example, if your senior parent has boxes of old photos, greeting cards, and papers that they want to keep because of the sentimental attachment but you know their new home doesn’t have room for those boxes of stuff take photos of each piece of paper, card, and old photo and offer to get the photos printed and put them in a scrapbook. That way your parent can still see them and enjoy their memories of the items but the actual items can be thrown out.
Another way to consolidate without giving up memories is to turn favorite clothes into a quilt. If your senior mother has been hanging onto the baby clothes that you and your siblings wore have pieces of those clothes made into a nice quilt for your mom and throw the rest of them out.
Invest In Storage
Sometimes your parent will not just be ready to let go of an item. Maybe it’s your father’s favorite chair, or your mom’s wedding dress. If space is a concern in their new home but they really can’t let go of some items rent a controlled climate storage unit where you can put everything that your parent doesn’t want to let go of. That way they can visit the storage unit and go through the items and let the items go in their own time. Knowing that their prized possessions are close by and safe can make the move less traumatic for seniors.
When you’re trying to keep a move on schedule and coordinate moving your senior parent to a new home it’s easy to get frustrated with them if they don’t want to consider letting go of some things or if they seem unwilling to cooperate during the move. Be patient and remember that this is a difficult transition for them. Let them go through it at their own pace.