Do you have aging parents or family members? Are you considering a move into an assisted care center? We talk about six things to make the process easier below.
Plan and make lists
Organize everything from the start. Create a list for downsizing. Draw up lists for potential movers, packers, recycling companies, and trash removal firms. You can write lists for each room and estimate the supplies you will need for packing.
Sort, recycle, and eliminate
Give your family member three places to put items. Keep, give away, and throw away piles will streamline the process. Anything he or she is having a hard time parting with can go in a fourth pile for deciding at the end. You can go back to these items after the rest of the room is complete. Do one room at a time until the house is finished.
Let the family member make the choices
Controlling the situation might be the only way your elderly parent or grandparent feels comfortable moving. Leaving the safety of the current home can be stressful and emotional. Giving the person the most say in the decisions will help him or her feel confident with the move.
Hire professionals to do the work
Research professionals and plan to hire help unless you have several strong family members with time to do the moving. You can hire cleaning crews to make sure the old place is spic and span. Your family member will probably know where they want furniture to go at the new place, so directing the movers can help them sort out the jitters.
Make several trips to the new home
Your grandpa will feel better if he is familiar with his new place. Visit the care center on event nights to help him find fun activities he might like to try. Take him to see his place, so he can decide where he wants to put his bed, and how he might like to decorate the kitchen.
Turn moving day into a fun event
Send your family member to the spa while the movers are unloading, or have your sister treat your mom to lunch while you unpack the basics. AARP says to use this time to hang family photos, so your loved one feels right at home. You can decorate the new place, have cake and ice cream, snacks, and put up balloons or fresh flowers. Anything that reminds your loved one of home will work.
Give your loved one control of the move. Help him or her reduce stress during the process. Remember to have fun with the transition and make several visits before the big day and immediately after the move.