Wednesday, 05 September 2018 15:37

7 Tips to help Seniors through the moving process

Recently we assisted an elderly lady downsize and move from her family home of 35 years. Her daughter, who lives overseas, had decided that her mom needed to move to a safer, smaller environment. While her decision came from a place of love and concern, it caused a lot of stress, anxiety and pain for her mom.

It all happened too quickly, decisions were made without consulting her, furniture was sold, and her home put on the market before she had time to process the changes. We were called in when her daughter couldn’t understand why it was taking so long for her mom to “get rid of stuff”. Luckily it all worked out in the end, and our client is settling into a lovely retirement apartment and making new friends. But it was a dreadfully stressful time for her and she still mourns the loss of her home and her life before.

Last week we talked about having the downsizing and moving conversation with your parents.

This week I thought I would share 7 tips on how you can make the transition as easy as possible for them.

  • Put yourself in their shoes. Try and understand how difficult this is for them. Recognise that they need to process the loss, and the changes they are facing.
  • Plan a lot more time than you think for the move. Older people take longer to make decisions, pack and settle in, so give them enough time.
  • Set a time schedule, with clearly defined steps. Start with easy tasks and work towards the more difficult decisions.
  • Give them space to work through things they can manage on their own, and be there when they would like your help.
  • Watch for signs of emotional distress. Moving is an incredibly stressful time for anyone, and more so for Seniors even if they are happy to move.
  • Keep an eye on their physical wellbeing. With all the stress and anxiety, they might not be taking care of themselves or eating properly.
  • Consider getting a Professional Organiser who specialises in working with Seniors. A Professional is not emotionally involved and understands the frustrations, emotions and anxiety. They are able to work steadily with firmness and compassion. It also means that the family can focus on nurturing and loving their parents through the process

These are observations from years of assisting Seniors with downsizing and moving. Do you have your own tips that would be helpful to other families?

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