While health issues are the most common reason for a senior to move, your parents may simply want to be closer to grandchildren or downsize to a smaller home. Whatever the reason, moving can be difficult for older adults. Help your parents move by staying patient, starting early, minimizing change, and hiring professional movers if possible.
Be patient, be practical, and be prepared
The key to successfully moving your senior parents is patience. They may not be as active or organized as they used to be, but they can still participate in the moving process. As emotional as moving can be for you and your parents, now is a time to be practical. Understand your financial, emotional, and time constraints. Be honest and realistic; your parents will respect this and respond positively.
Make sure you are prepared for the challenges of moving. Let your parents decide on a plan of action but be responsible for taking care of the details with like choosing a moving company. Your parents will be dealing with the emotional task of moving, so it may be up to you to make sure all the practical issues are handled.
Start early, start simple
Your parents should retain control over the moving process, but urge them to prepare as soon as possible. Give them daily tasks, but don’t pressure them to spend too much time on any given day.
Have your parents begin with packing a room that does not hold too much sentimental value. The kitchen is usually a good place to start. Later, they can move into a more emotionally-charged room. As they begin to pack bedrooms or attics that hold lots of sentimental items, again— be patient. It’s important that they have time to go through photos, old letters, and other objects of importance.
When moving, change is unavoidable, but there are several things you can keep the same for your aging parent. For example, make notes or take pictures so you can recreate the setup of rooms. Paint colors, furniture arrangement, and placement of knick-knacks are all things you should try to mimic in their new home. Constantly remind your parents of everything that will stay exactly the same, especially the amount of time you spend with them.
Hire professional movers
Although moving your parents is a very personal experience, professionals can certainly help. Your parents may be more willing to work with an outside party, so if you sense some resistance, consider hiring help. There are several companies that specialize in moving senior citizens. They handle everything from selling the home to hiring movers. Professional packers can assist in carefully wrapping and boxing all goods to go quickly, so the daunting task of doing so can be avoided.