We all understand that the moving process can demand a lot of our time and energy. When it’s time for your aging parents to downsize from their current home, they need all the help and support they can get in dealing with the transition. The emotional toll is particularly heavy if your parents are moving from the family home they have shared for decades, sometimes 40 years or more.
Thankfully, there are ways to help smooth out the entire moving process so they can say goodbye to their old home and begin to form memories in a new home that is more suited and safer for their current lifestyle. How can you help your parents make the move successfully?
Though some moves happen on a tight timeline due to financial constraints or health changes, in most cases there are months to plan. Use this time wisely to help your parents manage the change and grieve for the move. For older parents, a move is more than a “to-do list”; it is a difficult transition from the life they have known and loved for decades. Give them the time, support, and resources to process the transition. Losing independence is a common feeling during this process, restore a sense of control by letting your parent make as many decisions as possible for the new home, such as picking paint colours and decoration.
Plan, Sort, and Organize
Are your parents moving into a smaller home? An apartment? An assisted living facility? The size and layout of the new home will determine what you can bring, and what needs to be sold, donated, or thrown away. Depending on the condition of some items such as mattresses and couches, it may be necessary to start over.
It may be difficult for your parent to say goodbye to the first couch they bought, that crystal serving set given as a wedding gift, or to downsize their wardrobe. Allow your parent to reminisce about these items and grieve. To honour these belongings, let your parent choose to give some keepsakes to family members.
It is very important your parent’s essential items are easily accessible during the move. This includes medication, assistive devices, and any sentimental items that provide peace of mind, such as a favourite teddy bear. Pack a separate emergency bag or box with these items, a change of clothes, water, small snacks, and a first aid kit.
Support During the Move
If your parent requires extra care, timely administration of medication, and emotional support, the chaotic hours and days of the move can be especially difficult. If you have the time you can turn to an in-home caregiver or hire a professional caregiver to tend to your parent while you focus on packing and moving furniture.
Enduring a move can be an overwhelming and daunting process – especially for aging parents. When you’ve lived in your home for so many years, you naturally feel safe and comfortable. But downsizing or moving can stir up emotions of fear, confusion, and uncertainty. To help make these difficult experiences easier for your loved ones, we’re here to provide both you and your parents with the care and support that’s necessary.
If you have any questions about moving your parents into a new home, or adjusting to life after the move, reach out to Qualicare Family Homecare at 613.366.2899.