Moving an elderly person needs more planning and consideration, as there are more factors to consider such as the wellbeing of the mover, alongside the delivery of their belongings.
Movingboom have provided a few tips that we have come across from specialist organisations and removals specialists experienced in these types of moves.
Leaving a lifelong home could be emotional.
For younger people moving is an exciting time, but for people in later life, this can be an emotional time because they are leaving a home that they have been in for years that is full of memories. There could be a realisation that they can no longer cope or look after themselves and uncertainty of what is to come if they are moving into a care home. They could be downsizing due to the loss of a partner or illness, so this is a time that there needs to be patience and understanding.
Take your time.
When an elderly person is moving, it is likely to take a lot longer as they are not as mobile as they may have once been. Moving day will bring old memories to the forefront, if things are uncovered like belongings or pictures and photos. Don’t rush, as this is a time that the mover may want to chat and talk about the past. This can make the mover feel relaxed and help them cope with the upheaval.
Make the move into smaller manageable tasks.
Moving house can be overwhelming for all of us, but for an elderly person it can be a lot to take in. Where possible, just do little bits at a time to calm the chaos. Sort through a few drawers over a longer period of time so that if you are getting rid of things, then it is easier for the mover to accept. Don’t focus on getting things done quickly, keep it calm and try to make it enjoyable and chat about the past.
Let them be in charge.
You may try to take control to get the job done, but you are not the one that is moving. Let them take control and tell you what they want to do next. This makes them part of the move and can help them focus on what is to come and create closure of this chapter. Nobody likes to feel useless so this is a really positive way to make the move an event and also something fun to look forward to.
Throwing away, donating or storing?
If you are moving an elderly person to a new home, no doubt they will be downsizing, in which case you will have to sort through possessions to understand what is to be kept. This can be difficult as there will be a lot of memories associated with items around the home. Don’t rush, do this over a period of time. Create piles of things and make decisions together on what should be kept and why. Always let the mover have the final decision so that is their choice what they keep and what they leave behind. You could also propose taking only some things and putting others into storage to avoid throwing belongings with memories away. Anything that is no longer needed and holds no value can be sold or donated to someone who could put it to good use.
Make arrangements to keep in touch with neighbours and friends.
Leaving your home can feel like you are leaving friends and neighbours behind too. This could make the mover feel overwhelmed. Make sure that you update the contact details of all friends and neighbours in an address book, of for the more tech savvy, a crash course in social networking to link them up to friends who are online. Encourage friends to keep in touch so that the mover feels like they have not lost contact with everyone they know by moving.
Settle them in for a new start.
Moving into a new home is a big thing, and one you have got all the movers belongings in place, it can start to become a home. Help the mover by introducing them to other residents if it is a care home, or to neighbours if it is a retirement community. Spend time with them in their new home and visit regularly so that they do not feel isolated.