Moving is always tough no matter what age you are. Even the young and strong have a tough time coping with all the difficulties that a move entails. But for the elderly it can be even more difficult. If you are responsible for helping an elderly person/people move, whether its parents, grandparents, neighbors or friends, make sure to follow these guidelines to make their move as smooth as possible:
- The Tough Conversation: In a case where the move is for health reasons, it is always difficult to broach the subject with the person in question. You may hear resistance to move because of an unwillingness to give into the difficulties that come along with old age. In order to avoid this resistance make sure you do not use phrases such as "You have to do..." or "You need to do...", because you are not only ordering the other person around, but you are also placing all the burden on them. Make sure to incorporate yourself into the conversation by saying things like "I'm concerned for you" or "It worries me to see you like this". Make the person know that this move is not about getting rid of them, but something that needs to be done because you want that person to live as pleasant a life as possible. Have regular conversations about what the future holds and gently bring up the subject of moving.
- Advanced Scouting: An elderly person may need certain things close to home - such as the doctor, pharmacist, and even the barber/hair dresser. Before the move, make sure to research the prospective neighborhoods to ensure that all the essentials are close by. Something as simple as nearby senior center can help make the move that much smoother. Also, it's even more important than usual to take the appropriate measurements of the new residence to make sure that all of their belongings will fit. If they are surrounded by what is familiar to them when they move in, it will make the move easier for them to deal with. Additionally, if they have a need for medical devices you will want to make sure their is enough room and enough outlets for anything that needs to be plugged in.
- Hiring a Mover: As with any move, you want to make sure that the movers you choose are licensed and insured. But beyond this, you may want to consider movers who specialize in moving the elderly. They will have the experience in helping your family with the physical and emotional aspects of moving. Make sure to speak with the mover ahead of time about any special needs that you might have - for example, you may have a question on particular pieces of medical equipment that need to be shipped.
- The Day of the Move: The entire moving experience for the elderly can feel like they are losing control on their lives when they have a close relative or friend taking care of all the fine details. Empower them with the knowledge of what is going to happen that day and what they can expect, as well as the fact that their belongings are well taken care of. If they are left in the dark about the day's activities, it can lead to a more stressful move. Make sure to keep any medications close at hand and try to get a good night's sleep so everyone feels energized and ready to go. When it's time to finally get moving, focus on where you are going and not what you are leaving - this will help them focus on a positive future.
So while moving the elderly can be difficult, if you are prepared you can greatly reduce the moving stress. Find professionally licensed moving companies at 123Movers to help you move an elderly family member or friend.