Mom is excited – she’s ready to make new friends, decorate a new room, and there are so many activities to try! She won’t have to care for the yard anymore or drag the vacuum up and down the stairs. The assisted living community is going to be GREAT!
Even when you’re ready to be moving into assisted living, moving can be difficult, and it can be especially hard for a senior to move to a new home. There are often memories they are leaving behind, and there is so much work to do. We have a list of ways to make the move easier and less stressful.
1. Exercise Patience and Compassion
Even when a senior chooses assisted living by themselves and is ready and happy about the change, there are often still memories in the old home, and so many feelings and apprehensions about the big step of moving. Allow them time to process and take with them about what they feel. There may be some feelings of grieving, and it is important to listen and these complex feelings. Be supportive and optimistic and try to always be ready to listen.
2. Don’t Go it Alone
Moving includes large amounts of scrubbing and packing and other things to do – most people can’t do it alone, and your senior is likely going to need help with a lot more than the basics. Involve your family in the process when you can, and surround your loved one with those who care for them to help your senior feel less afraid of being isolated of forgotten. Siblings and even young children can help and keep your loved one’s spirits up.
3. Stay Goal Oriented
Take a good look at the new living space before the move to determine where furniture and large pieces will go. Consider the closet space and where items in cabinets and drawers should go. A defined plan about how things should be arranged in the senior care space helps make the move quicker and less confusing for everyone.
4. Get Organized
Pack and organize the old home with your new space in mind. Donate items that are not needed rather than throwing them away – this can help prevent seniors from feeling loss about discarding unwanted items. Be patient listen as they connect with old memories – your senior may want to talk about these feelings, so share them when you can. When family members take furniture or other items, ask them to be prompt and move things before or on moving day to keep your senior from worrying about extra details.
5. Fix It Up
Clean the house and make repairs for your loved one. Most seniors move into an assisted living community because they can no longer do many things for themselves, so suggest that they hire a cleaning service or enlist a handyman. You can also do these things yourself if you have time and it will ease your senior’s mind. It’s best to keep the home clean, tidy, and ready for sale, even if the senior isn’t ready to sell it yet. When your loved one is ready, they can then feel free to make any decision they want about assisted living without added complications.
6. The Big Day
Think about how you’ll move your loved one’s things. If you live far away from a senior who will be moving to a senior living community nearer to you, you’ll want to consider using full service moving company. Closer moves can be performed by family with a rental truck if you choose. In both instances, you need to take into account the cost of the moving services involved.
Don’t forget to give thought to how your senior will travel. If you senior is healthy, short road trips might be possible, but for many seniors who are moving into an assisted living community, long road trips and plane flights are difficult and can even be impossible. You’ll want to figure out the best way to bring your senior to their new home based on budget and the amount of time you have for traveling with your loved one.
And most of all….
7. Remember the Big Picture
Moving a loved one to an assisted living community can seem like a scary step, but it can also be a hopeful step into a long, happy senior experience. Senior care is intended to make your loved one more happier, safer, and more capable than they would be in their own homes. It can also provide peace of mind for concerned family and friends. Be positive and remember that the moving process can be an overall happy endeavor. It’s a chance to begin a new life, one in which your senior can enjoy living without the stress of maintaining a home, and you can watch happily as they get the most out of life.