Photo via Pixabay by BookBabe
Moving into a smaller home is an emotional experience and a huge undertaking for many people, but when it’s seniors who are making the change, it can be overwhelming. Facing a move after living in the same home for many years is tough, to say the least, and the physical aspects of packing, cleaning, and unpacking a house can be very demanding. If you have parents or other loved ones who are planning to downsize–either because their income demands it or because they are retiring–there are several things you’ll want to consider when it comes to helping them out.
Hiring the right movers is the first step, but there are a lot of things to think about and plan for, including going through belongings to pare down, what to donate, what to give to family members, and so on. It will help to have a detailed plan before making any big decisions, so sit down with your loved ones to go over what they need and want before the move.
Here are a few of the best tips on how to help your parents, grandparents, or other senior family members get through a move safely and with as little stress as possible.
Find the right helpers
Any move takes a lot of planning and some research. Check out local professional moving companies, which offer great time saving options for seniors. Having help moving furniture and boxes will help minimize injuries and make the move as stress-free as possible.
Having the right supplies on hand can make a huge difference when it comes time to start going through items before packing. Various sized boxes, packing materials, notebook paper and a marker or pen, cleaning supplies, and trash bags are some of the most important items you’ll need. Offer to help your loved ones go through their belongings room by room and place everything into one of three piles: keep, toss, donate. You can also have them put aside things to give to family members (jewelry for a granddaughter, for instance), and to condense. A good example of this is, if your loved ones have many photo albums that take up a lot of space, ask if they’ll allow you to scan all the photos in on the computer and upload them to a thumb drive, which can be placed into a digital picture frame or accessed on the computer whenever they want. This is a great way to hang on to the memories without taking up a lot of room.
Packing takes time if you want to do it right, so don’t rush the process. The goal is to get everything to the new place in a way that is as easy and stress-free as possible for your loved ones, so help them make packing lists for each box and keep everything from the same room together. Write clearly on the outside of the box which room it’s from and push them up against the wall when they’re full to clear the walkways. Cluttered floors during a move can cause falls.
Think ahead to the new place; what will your loved ones need there on moving day? Set aside several boxes to pack up last minute items, such as paper plates and cups, toiletries, toilet paper, cleaning products, medication and medical equipment, and anything else that will be necessities or comforts.
Once everything is unloaded into the new home, help your loved ones set up their bedroom and kitchen areas first. These are important rooms for most people and will allow them to relax a little even if the unpacking doesn’t get finished right away.
Remember, moving is an emotional experience and can take a toll on seniors even if they don’t show it. Let them know you’re there for them and offer your help in any way you can.