How To Help An Elderly Person Move House
If you have older loved ones in your life, chances are at some point you will be called in to help them with a significant house move. Whether they're moving to be closer to a carer, downsizing, or shifting into facilities better suited to their needs, it can be a tricky and emotional task for everyone involved.
It's important to acknowledge that you’ll need time to plan, and you’ll most likely need extra help. With that in mind, we’ve put together a few basic tips to help make the process as stress-free and seamless as possible.
1. Sort and organise before you begin packing
Packing will be a lot easier if it’s been sorted and organised beforehand. As a rule, sorting can be grouped into four main categories and should be clearly labelled accordingly: 1. Moving, 2. Giving To Family/Friends 3. Selling/Donating 4. Throwing Out.
2. From little things, big things grow
If the move is a mammoth task, break it down into smaller tasks and tackle them first. Taking smaller steps is far better than procrastinating or allowing yourselves to become overwhelmed and unproductive.
3. Allow plenty of time
Often, decision making is one of the timeliest aspects of making significant life changes. If you can, allow yourselves plenty of time to discuss and make decisions, and record them somewhere so that everyone is on the same page. From what to do with possessions when downsizing, to what energy provider to go with next, keeping notes of this in one place will make it easier to keep track of where things are at.
4. Put together a care box for the move
Prepare the person or people moving for the core packing and unpacking days. Items like toiletries, cleaning supplies, medications, spare changes of clothes, and a mobile phone charger, are all essentials that should be easily accessible in order to make the process that little bit less stressful.
5. Call in help from others if you can
Whether it’s other family members, friends, or neighbours, moving older loved ones can be a huge job and unless you ask for help, you may not realise how readily available it is. Whether it’s just looking out for your loved ones during the transition period, helping with meals or cleaning, or running errands, having a few extra trusted hands on deck can only be a positive thing.
6. Make a list for address changes
Particularly if those moving have been in their residents for some time, there may be a lengthy list of organisations and family friends to contact and advise of the address change. Make a list, and each time you think of a new one jot it down to ensure you don’t lose track.
7. Have fun with it. Reminisce and celebrate
It doesn’t have to be all packing and cleaning. Having some close friends or family over for a meal in the lead-up to moving day, looking through some old photos, and having a bit of ceremony around the occasion will help everyone to process the change in a positive way. Sure, moving – and certainly downsizing – can come with an array of conflicting emotions, but it can also be a good excuse to get together and celebrate.
If you follow these tips, you should find that everyone involved in the move is a lot more comfortable and better-informed. You'll avoid a lot of stress and confusion, and hopefully your older friend or family member will be able to settle into their new place with more ease.
If you need advice on an upcoming move for an older friend or relative, give our office team a call on 03 9417 3443. For general moving tips, check out The Man's Moving Checklist