Moving your elderly parents should be easy, right. You just guide them in the right direction, plan the move, and implement the whole operation. If only it was that easy. By the time your elderly parents or loved ones have reached their golden years they may not be able to stay in their original homes, but that doesn’t mean they want to leave. You know that the house is either too big, too isolated, or too high maintenance. They just want to stay in familiar surroundings.
This is the final article in our moving series because it’s probably one of the more difficult moving related issues that you’ll face. If you find yourself in the position of having to move your elderly parents or relatives, you have some things to consider.
Make sure your parents feel included in the process of moving. If you’re lucky, and they’re excited about moving to a more appropriate home, it will be easy to make the transition. If they are like most older people, reluctant and anxious about relocating, you need to point out the positive aspects of the move. Answer their questions honestly and involve them fully in choosing a new place to live.
Following is a timeline to help you make this a smooth transition.
Three Months Before
Determine Their Needs
Think about location. Do they want to move to a different climate, or do they need the support of being close to family? Are they interested in an 55-plus community, or do they want a standard neighborhood or a condo with a more traditional lifestyle? The answers to these questions will help you to narrow their options.
Consider a Senior Moving Specialist
You can contact a specialist from Caring Transitions for assistance with moving logistics. This organization can help with downsizing, relocation, estate sales, packing, home staging, organizing, paperwork, and overseeing movers.
Two Months Before
Surround Your Seniors With Support
Your loved ones may be concerned about trying to dispose of extra furniture and other items that they may no longer need or have room for. This is a good time to ask family members to assist with sorting and packing, more for emotional than physical support. It is comforting to seniors to see that their beloved possessions are going to be useful to other family members. Relatives may also be able to help with donating or disposing of unwanted items.
Plan Furniture Placement in the New Home
Figure out what furniture will work in the new home and what will not. Plan the layout of the space, and be sure to take furniture that is important to them. Having a favorite chair and special heirloom clock will make the transition easier and more comfortable.
Research and Schedule Moving Services
Now is the time to research and schedule moving companies and get estimates. Make sure the company you choose is reputable, licensed, and insured. You can get more help with this in our Moving Prep article.
Six Weeks Before
Make Travel Arrangements
If this is an out-of-state move, book airline, car, and hotel reservations now to avoid high prices. If you parent or relative has mobility issues, call the airline to request wheelchair assistance. You’ll find some hints to help with this in our Navigating an Out-of-State Move article.
Notify Current Physicians and Health Insurance Providers
Notify physicians and specialists and refill prescriptions. If this is an out-of-area move, be sure to ask for recommendations and check on changing medical coverage.
Four Weeks Before
Schedule Appointments with New Physicians
Once you receive recommendations from current doctors, schedule appointments to establish patient care with new physicians.
Rent a Storage Unit
A storage unit can be a lifesaver. Instead of discarding things that you may need later, you can store them in a safe, secure unit and give yourself time to think. Read
Self-Storage, The Secret Weapon for Your Next Move to find out more.
After the Move
Prep the New Home
As we stated earlier, plan the layout of the furniture for comfort and safety. Be sure that there is an easy flow through the rooms; and, of course, night lights and safety rails in the bathrooms.
Moving is always stressful, but at this stage of life it can be emotional and frightening. Remember, an extra dose of patience will go a long way. Take a vacation when it’s over!