Tips For Moving With Seniors
The inability for seniors to do everything they used to do can result in poor housekeeping habits and the desire to keep
unnecessary items. Instead of commenting on this, offer to clean as you pack and try not to criticize.
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To make the move easier on seniors, the following may be helpful:
Help sort. Be gentle when suggesting to get rid of possessions. Ask them if they use the item and if they would mind if you donate it. If it’s a treasure or something they’d like to keep but the new space can’t accommodate it, suggest keeping it in the family by giving it to a grandchild or another sibling. It’s often easier to give away items if they are going to a good home.
Downsizing space. If you’re parents are moving from a three bedroom home to a one bedroom condo, then together you’ll need to decide what will fit and how much can be kept.
Take pictures of the inside of their home. When possible, try to place objects in a similar way so that their new home will feel very much like the old one. This will help make the new place feel like home.
Start small. Give them small tasks to do such as going through a desk drawer or a box from the attic. Ask them to spend small amounts of time per day on one task. Let them decide what they’d like to do and what they might find hard to do. Taking small steps will help your parents get used to the idea of moving.
Pick a room that has less sentimental attachment. Have them start sorting through bathroom or kitchen drawers instead of a room with sentimental objects.
Plan the move. Allow enough time that your parents don’t feel rushed. Sorting through years of stuff is difficult and sometimes emotionally painful.
Hire outside help. Sometimes it’s easier for your parents to work with an outside party than with their children.
Get them involved. If you have access to the new home, take your parents there. Introduce them to the new space and allow them to participate in the designing or furnishing of the space.
Be patient. Allow your parents time to say goodbye to their former surroundings.
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