Moving is never easy. Anyone who has ever experienced relocation of any kind understands this. But when making a residential move, that is, moving from a place one calls “home” it can be especially difficult. And depending on how long you have lived in a specific location, the personal items, possessions and memories just seem to multiply making saying goodbye that much harder for everyone involved.
This is especially true with seniors. Not only have they experienced a lot of life and lived though many stories, often they have also collected a substantial amount of stuff. Moving house is always the result of some change of life whether it is social, financial or professional. And while moving is notoriously one of the most stress ridden events possible, this tension is often compounded when older people are involved. Whether relocation is the result of the death of a spouse or the inability or desire to take care of a large home, when a senior needs to move, there are several things to remember to make their transition easier.
Don’t Wait Till the Last Minute
If you are aware that a senior in your life will need to make a move in the near future, it’s important to start the planning process early. There is little worse than being forced into or rushed through an important move in life and helping older people is no exception. Attempt to talk about moving early and often. By avoiding last minute conversations about important topics, you will have a better chance of being set up for a successful moving experience.
Consider the Process
Moving can be both emotionally and physically draining. Generally speaking, seniors have less energy than their younger counterparts so it is smart to break the organization of the move into palatable sections. We recommend putting some thought into how much energy a senior can give per day in preparation for moving. Consider how going though old pictures and air looms can affect a person’s energy and plan accordingly.
Don’t Take it Personally
If you are helping a senior with their move emotions could be running high. Often when older people move it means the loss of independence. Keeping in mind how hard it is to be dependent on others, remember that kindness is the key to dealing with people in this type of transition. Focusing on the goal at hand instead of taking personally the stress of the situation is an important part of helping seniors during this time.