Moving is always stressful. But when it comes time to move as a senior citizen, or help your senior family member move, there can be added challenges. A transition later in life may be met with more physical and emotional challenges. Having to relocate or downsize may require leaving a home with a lifetime of memories. Here are some helpful hints to pulling a successful senior move.
For many, hiring movers is a necessity when helping with a senior move. Even if downsizing for the new home, it can be difficult to complete a DIY move with a senior. They may not be able to help with the heavy lifting. If there are additional mobility issues, you will want to focus your attention on helping your loved one get to their new home. Trying to juggle helping your loved one while also trying to complete a move on your own may be too much. Movers can help to take away some of the stress and can offer a number of services. You may want to save by doing some of the packing or unpacking on your own. Or it may be beneficial to have them pack and unpack so that your loved one has everything set up when they arrive or the same day as the move.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with a later life transition or in assisting a loved one with such a transition, you can get help. In addition to full service movers, another potential helper is a senior move manager. This professional helps throughout the moving or downsizing process. They work hard to take the chaos and stress out of moving, so that the transition not only goes smoothly, but can be enjoyed. Some movers will have a senior move manager you can employ. You can also find a move manager, and they will help to coordinate with your movers. Some will even take charge of finding a reputable moving company for your move. Similarly to choosing a moving company, you will want to employ a reputable senior move manager. The National Association of Senior Move Managers is dedicated to helping you find the right professional. The Association’s website offers tips as well as a database for finding a reputable move manager. Move managers will offer their assistance in planning and sorting, in addition to offering emotional support in the process. They will make sure that items are packed properly and can help you settle into the new home. Senior move managers can also be helpful if loved ones are left to pack up a home after a loved one has had to leave suddenly. Senior move managers are familiar with the chaos and emotional strain that a sudden move puts on family members. Senior move managers can help through the process and determine what to keep versus get rid of.
Even if you do not enlist a senior move manager, there are other helpful tips to moving your loved one. Remember to be patient and caring. For many seniors, a move means leaving a home they have spent decades in. It may be the family home they raised their children in. While every move is hard, leaving behind the home you built a life in is a very emotional event. Even if the transition involves just decluttering a home, it is still a challenge to say goodbye to items that may hold sentimental value. As emotional a transition as it will be, downsizing can be a fun time to spend as a family. Going through all the items will allow your senior loved one to relive all those memories. It can also give family members a chance to either say goodbye to old items, or maybe inherit a new heirloom. Throwing away items can be challenging. Your loved one may find it easier to give items away to family or friends, instead of getting rid of something all together.
Taking your time to make a senior move will also be helpful. If your loved one seems to be struggling in their home or needs to downsize, it may be time to consider moving. The decision will be difficult, but helping your loved one into their new home slowly and while they have their health will result in a smoother transition. It may take longer to find the right home or community. Sometimes your loved one may need some time to adjust and come to terms with the idea. Additionally, you may need to help your loved one downsize. Packing and sorting is time consuming with any move. When making a emotional move later in life, this process can drag on longer. You may be met with some resistance, or your loved one may struggle to decide what to keep and what to say goodbye to. However, if you slowly work toward finding a new home for your loved one and which items should go with them, you can help ease your loved one into this new stage of life. Change is hard, so helping your loved one slowly come to terms with their move can help them feel less displaced.
When it comes time to move later in life, it may be an emotional process. When it comes time to move as a senior or move your loved one, you don’t have to go it alone. In addition to full service movers, you may benefit from bringing on a senior move manager. The emotional toll that a move can bring on, especially later in life, may require extra help and patience. As with any moving experience remaining patient will go a long way.