6 Tips for Helping Seniors Move

Moving is daunting—especially for seniors—but it can also be an opportunity to provide real support at a time when your loved one needs it most. When you’re helping seniors move, you need to be prepared with as much information as possible. Here are six tips to help make the moving process as positive as possible.

1. Make Communication a Priority 

Moving is more challenging for seniors when they don’t feel included. Communicate with your loved one early and often. Be as transparent as possible about your thoughts and create a non-judgmental space for theirs. This can help you address concerns early on.

When communication breaks down, it can hinder the entire process of moving. Whether your loved one is moving to assisted living or taking up residence closer to you, talk about what’s going to happen long before the day arrives. Let your loved one know that you are available to listen to their worries and that no part of the move will happen without their participation.

Helping seniors move requires planning for a successful process.

2. Research and Plan Ahead

Do thorough research about your loved one’s new home. Ask for a floor plan of the space with exact measurements. This will make it easier to decide what possessions and furniture they can take and what needs to be given away or sold.

When possible, visit the new community, apartment building, or residence with your loved one. Get a lay of the land and ask important questions about the available amenities and services. If your loved one has a pet, ensure their new home is pet-friendly and find out if they’ll have to provide a pet deposit or pay a monthly fee for their animal companion.

The more you can limit surprises on moving day, the better. If you take some time to gain first-hand experience with the new environment before your loved one moves, they will feel less stress when navigating this significant change. 

3. Get an Early Start on Packing

After many years residing in their home, your loved one will have many belongings. Allow plenty of time to sort through their things. Rushing the process will only increase anxiety and worry.

There are ways to stay organized and use your time wisely when helping your loved one pack for a move. Start with items that won’t be used for a while, such as out-of-season clothing, DVDs, books, and more. 

Pack kitchen items and clothes one to two weeks before the move, leaving out only what your loved one needs to get by. The night before the move will be hectic as you finish packing all of your loved one’s belongings.

Remember that packing takes time, but it also gives you the opportunity to reminisce and connect with your loved one. Their memories are precious, so honor them by offering a sense of comfort as they prepare to move. Play their favorite music or take a break to watch a favorite film together.

4. Take the Opportunity To Downsize

Moves for seniors offer the chance to downsize their belongings, including furniture, kitchen items, and more. Whether it’s assisted living, an active senior community, a condo, or a mother-in-law suite, it’s very possible that your loved one will need to part with items they’ve had for years. Encourage them to approach downsizing with a positive attitude, and remind them that embracing convenience is a good thing.

Here are some strategies to successfully downsize: 

  • Get rid of duplicate items
  • Set aside any item that hasn’t been used in over a year
  • Scale down groups of collectibles and memorabilia 
  • Stick to a “yes” or “no” system for sorting piles

Once you have enough items, you and your loved one can decide whether it’s best to sell or donate. Selling can take time and effort, but it’s a great way to increase funds to help pay for the move. Donating items that are in good condition is a good strategy if your loved one doesn’t need extra funds and wants to complete the process swiftly.

Helping seniors move takes time, but support goes a long way.

5. Schedule Extra Time To Connect and Explore

If you can, take extra time off of work to help your loved one unpack and adjust to their new environment. Don’t just set up the essentials—display photos and mementos to make the new space feel like home right away. Put your loved one’s favorite chair in a spot reminiscent of where it was at home. Consider all the small details that will make your loved one feel comfortable.

After your loved one moves, visit them often and schedule regular activities and programs for them. If you played cards once a week together before, stick to the same routine. Ensure that your loved one has the resources and support they need to get out of the house or run errands as needed.

6. Get Assistance From Friends, Family, or Professionals

If any part of the process of helping seniors move feels overwhelming or impossible, enlist the assistance of friends, family members, or professionals. Don’t be afraid to ask for the help you need, whether it’s an extra pair of hands for packing or someone to manage an estate sale.

There are companies and consultants dedicated to making the moving process easier for older adults and their families. A consultant can help you make a checklist of necessary steps and also provide contacts for vetted moving companies and other businesses that may come in handy. Even if you can manage everything on your own, getting extra help can make the process far less stressful.

Helping Seniors Move Into Assisted Living

There are many reasons to consider a move to assisted living. Many senior living communities offer personalized health support and amenities such as social programming and free transportation to local shops. Whether your loved one is looking for ways to make life more convenient or they need help with everyday tasks, your support will go a long way toward making the transition as smooth as possible.

Helping seniors move into assisted living facilities comes with its own challenges. Reach out to us to schedule a visit or take our free assessment to discover the community and level of care that’s right for loved one so they can live their best years starting today.

For help or more information contact us or schedule a visit at a location today.