There are nearly 50 million senior citizens in the United States, according to the most recent census report. Many of these Golden-agers will remain healthy enough to live out their final years in comfort and familiarity inside of their longtime homes. However, a significant number, despite protests and blatant rejection of the idea, will need to relocate for care. Read on for tips on how to make the moving process easier for Mom and Dad.
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Have a plan in place well before you need it
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in this situation is thinning out belongings under duress. Don’t wait until your 93-year-old father is no longer able to walk before helping him manage clutter. As early as retirement age, open up the conversation that a move is possible in the future and determine ahead of time which personal possessions are most important. This will help immensely when the time comes to pack up and go. Speaking of packing…
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Hire a trusted moving company
Moving is a physically demanding task that shouldn’t be left to those with conditions that make it dangerous. Osteoporosis affects millions of Americans, usually aged 65 and older, many of whom are unaware of their brittle bones. A moving company will be fully prepared to safely relocate precious antiques and help make the move as easy and stress-free as possible. But there are a few things you can do to speed things up…
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Invest a few dollars into a binder in storing estimates, receipts, and other moving related paperwork, including checklists and supply lists. Store keepsakes, trinkets, and treasures in well-padded boxes. Large items – appliances, mattresses, furniture -- should be left unboxed so your movers can wrap and transport them in the safest and most efficient way possible. Mark each box with its primary contents (books, clothes, etc.) with the location it is to be taken upon arrival to your parents’ new home. Keep jewelry and other small, expensive or important items close at hand. Have a plan in place for move-in day so that movers will have access to the home and an entry wide enough for furniture. This brings up the point that you should…
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Know how much space is available at the new place
There are few things more frustrating on moving day than not being able to get new furniture and belongings into a new space. This is especially concerning for seniors who may be stressed about the transition anyway. Before you start packing, know how much space you’re moving from and how much you are moving to. Be realistic about large items. For instance, if you are moving your parents from a large four-bedroom home into a small studio apartment, there is no reason to move three extra rooms full of furniture. Make sure all of the necessary items will fit in areas such as the living room, kitchen, and outdoor patio. Those items that don’t fit can be sold to add to your parents’ nest egg. It’s a good idea to visit the new living quarters and measure each room, including doorways and windows. Make a quick sketch of the layout and note where large items should be placed upon arrival.
A final thought
Moving is difficult and emotionally exhausting for everyone, but it can be especially trying for those who’ve grown accustomed to their surroundings. Be kind throughout the process but firm if the move is for health or safety reasons. Take the time to point out any particularly important belongings so your movers can exercise extra care to move these comfort items first in order to help your loved one become more comfortably acquainted with their new home.