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How to Best Support Seniors on Moving Day
Moving is always stressful, but it can also be highly emotional for seniors. Heres how you can be there for your elderly loved ones.
When moving day arrives for an elderly relative or friend, emotions may be running high, but youll want risk of physical injurytobe low. From packing their things to the big moving day, the key to a successful move is good planning and communication. Here is how you can support your loved ones during a move.
Downsizing means letting go of possessions some of which mayhave a lifetime of memories attached. Deciding what to keep and what to let go of can be an emotional journey. A safer home with less clutter and fewer hazards is the reward, but your loved ones will need your help to stay on track.
Plan ahead.Start sorting early. Give your loved ones the time they need to make good choices about which possessions they are going to keep. This is an emotional time; allow them enough time to process.
Know how much space is in their new home.Take a trip to your loved ones new home and measure the size of their rooms and closets. Write down these dimensions to use as reference for how much they can bring.
Stay realistic.Talk to your loved ones honestly about what they will need in their new place. Remain realistic about the limitations of their new space. Separate out what they need from what they want.
Keep some nonessential.There will be a few items your loved ones cant bear to part with. Find a creative way to display them in the new place so that the new house feels more like home.
Dont take away their control.Keep your loved ones involved with the moving process. Give them as much choice as possible. You can always limit their choices but give them control by asking, This or that?
Moving is not only an emotional process, but a physically taxing one. Make sure everyone stays safe on moving day by packing smart.
Pack a bag of essentials.It should include medications, toiletries, reading glasses, pajamas and a change of clothing for each person moving. This will keep your loved ones comfortable during the move and prevent important items from being misplaced.
Leave the light packing to your loved one.Your elderly loved ones will want to help. Have them stick to light items like clothing. To minimize back strain, lay everything out on a table instead of the floor.
Dont overload boxes.If a box is uncomfortable to lift and maneuver, it is already too heavy. Spread items out rather than loading them all in a single box. Use a dolly to move heavy or bulky items.
Pack in a logical order.Pack like itemstogether and label boxes clearly. Youll be able to find what your loved one wants to unpack first, without having to dig through everything else.
On the big moving day there will be a lot of heavy objects being moved and items put where they shouldnt be. Keep a close eye out to make sure everyone involved stays safe.
Take multiple days.If possible, spread out the moving process. Start moving nonessentials into the new place before your loved ones make the move. The more you set up now, the less stressful the final moving day will be.
Plan where everything will go.The more times you move a box, the more danger there is of straining your back. Dont move things until you know where they will go.
Keep hallways and pathways clear.Organize boxes in neat piles away from heavy traffic zones. Trim overgrown shrubs or tree branches that cross paths. Place mats over slippery surfaces.
Lift properly.Squat down and lift with your legs and arms, not your back. Wear comfortable, nonrestrictive clothing and closed-toe shoes.
Enlist the help of relatives.Moving isnt a one-person job. Your loved ones will need all the help they can get. Call your relatives over and have them help with the heavy lifting.
More than just a move
Moving will be tough on you and the family, but remember that it is your loved ones who areleaving their home behind.
Relocatingto a new house is more than just the move itself. Its meeting new neighbors and exploring a new neighborhood. Its unpacking and decorating the blank walls. Its remembering where the extra soap was put, and getting used to new noises outside at night.
The transition will take time. Be there for your loved ones. They will need your support during this time of change.