Let’s face it. No matter how exciting it is to start a new chapter in life, packing up a home and moving isn’t much fun. For seniors who have lived in their home for many years, moving can be emotionally and physically exhausting.
If your aging parents will be relocating to an assisted living community, these tips may be helpful.
Senior Relocation: 6 Tips for Making a Smooth Transition
1. Set realistic goals
For most older adults, relocating means moving from a larger space to a much smaller one. Deciding what to keep, what to sell, and what to donate takes time and patience. Whenever possible, you’ll want to do it over more than just one weekend.
If you are struggling to even get started, you may find senior relocation services to be helpful. Senior move managers are professionals who can assist with every detail of an aging parent’s relocation.
2. Involve your parent in the process
If an aging parent is able, try to keep them involved in the process to whatever degree they can. For example, have them help decide which charity to donate unneeded items to or how they want to arrange furniture in their new assisted living apartment. Giving your senior loved one control over some aspects of the move will allow them to maintain a sense of independence.
3. Start participating before moving in
It’s normal to feel apprehensive about moving to an assisted living community. Going from a private home to a senior housing community is a big change. But it can also significantly improve a resident’s quality of life. You can help lower move-related anxiety by visiting the community for events and activities before the big day.
Talk with the staff to identify opportunities that may be of interest, such as a watercolor workshop or a yoga class. This will not only help your aging parent meet new people, they’ll also begin to learn to navigate around the community. That sense of familiarity can make moving a little less stressful.
4. Preserve memories of the home
Capture video and photos of an aging parent’s home before you start packing. You can use both to create a keepsake slideshow or scrapbook that they’ll cherish after they move to assisted living.
Make sure you include favorite nooks around the inside of the home, as well as the exterior. Photos of their perennial gardens, bird feeders, window boxes, and other treasures will also be appreciated.
5. Plan ahead for moving day
To start the transition on a less stressful footing, create a good plan for the day of the move. Where will your aging parent spend the day? Can a friend take them out to lunch so they are spared the chaos of the move?
Also, keep a box or suitcase of essentials with you instead of sending them with the movers. Items to place in your moving-day box should include:
- A few changes of clothing
- Pajamas, robe, and slippers
- Personal care items
- Medication and medical supplies
- Coffee pot, filters, and coffee
- Toilet paper, Kleenex, and paper towels
- Snacks and bottled water
- Cleaning supplies
6. Encourage visitors
Not everyone is familiar with the thriving environment of an assisted living community. Some friends and family members may have the wrong idea about what senior housing is and hesitate at first to visit the senior. Once your loved one is settled, you could plan a housewarming party to encourage people to visit, or invite a few friends at a time for lunch or dinner. After people have visited for the first time, they’ll likely be more comfortable making a return trip.
The Role of a Senior Care Advisor
If you are just beginning to search for an assisted living community, one of our senior care advisors can help. Their advice is always free and can aid in exploring options for senior housing that meet your needs and budget. Call 800-304-8061 to learn more!
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