Moving is an incredibly stressful time for anyone. Between working out timings of when you can move and transferring utilities over to physically packing, moving and unpacking, most people will get pretty tense before, during and after a move. But when it comes to moving your elderly parents, the stress can be even worse. It can be difficult for them to leave behind a place they called home for a long time, the routine they build there and the local area they grew to love. If the new home is smaller, decisions may need to be made about what to bring and what to leave behind. All of this adds to the normal stresses of moving, and many seniors find it difficult to cope during this transitional time. But there are a few things you can do to help and make the process of moving your elderly parents a little easier.
When you’re moving your elderly parents there is no such thing as planning too soon. Before you launch into packing, first start with downsizing their belongings with them – especially if they are moving to somewhere significantly smaller than their current home. You can donate, gift to family, sell or recycle unnecessary items, easing the stress and any feeling of being held captive by their belongings. This is a delicate process and should be done alongside your parents, not without them. If you’re struggling to find the time or the emotional energy for the process, you can always bring in a professional (like us), who will sit with them and help them declutter and downsize, listen to their stories and make sure each item goes to the place they want.
Get Packing Early
No one enjoys packing the night before the move, and your elderly parents won’t either. Not being prepared can cause a huge amount of stress, and it’s this that you want to avoid. Once you’ve helped them declutter and know what’s going to be making the move, start packing right away, working through the house to pack the things that aren’t needed too often first, to the things they need every day. Getting this project out of the way early on will save anxiety in the long run, and making moving your elderly parents a much smoother experience, You could also hire a professional (like us) to pack and move your parent’s belongings for them, easing the stress even more.
Consider Your Travel Options
Depending on how far you are moving your elderly parents, transportation might be a bit more challenging. If you’re only moving them down the road, then a short car ride once the moving vans have been and gone is probably not too bad. But if they are moving a considerable distance, then the physical travel can become a problem. Will your elderly parent be comfortable in a car for a long journey? Would it perhaps be better for you to take them by train, or even plane? Ask them for their preferences and work out a travel plan that suits you both. Whatever your travel arrangements end up being, we recommend that you don’t move them until all of their belongings have been moved and unpacked. That way, they are simply closing the door on one house and opening the door into their new one ready to go.
Don’t Forget the Healthcare
For seniors, healthcare is a big and very valid concern. Anyone who has moved areas will know just how long and arduous the process of getting medical records transferred can be, so if your elderly parent will need to see a new healthcare provider in their new home, it’s best to get this ball rolling as early as possible. You should help them choose a new doctor (and any other relevant healthcare providers) before the move and arrange to have all relevant documents and paperwork transferred to the new surgery before moving day. This will mean everything is in place for them when they arrive, and they don’t need to worry.
During the first few months of living in their new home, your parents are likely to feel vulnerable and lonely. It’s important for you to visit as often as you can in person or check in by phone frequently to make sure they are settling in ok. This can help provide a sense of familiarity and comfort and remind your parents that you are looking out for them. It’s also important for you to look out for the signs of Relocation Stress Syndrome, also known as RSS. RSS is common in seniors who are relocating and presents both physical and mental symptoms including depression, anxiety and disorientation. Read up on RSS here and keep an eye out for the symptoms, so you can get help for your elderly parents as quickly as possible.
At Home Care Removals we believe that moving your elderly parents should be a simple, stress-free process. But we also know how hard that can be to create and manage on your own. With our help, you can simplify the process of moving your elderly parents and significantly reduce the stress to both them and you at the same time. We offer a full, comprehensive senior moving service that covers everything from sitting down and helping them downsize, through to packing and moving their belongings and unpacking them at the other end. It’s our job to make moving your elderly parents as stress-free as possible. If you would like to know more, just get in touch with us today.