Tuesday, 23 July 2019 12:07

Help! Mom and Dad are moving

Help! Mom and Dad are moving

My parents moved into a retirement home 4 years ago and settled in really well. We were lucky that they were ready for the change. We were lucky that they had moved many times in their 60 years together. We were lucky that each time they moved, they sorted and let go anything they no longer needed or loved. We were lucky (believe it or not) that they believe in buying the best they could afford, making things last, reusing and repurposing items in their home.

And so this move into the retirement home was not difficult.

Unfortunately I have found that this is unusual and an exception to the norm. As I spend more and more time assisting Seniors and families transition I am acutely aware of how difficult this process is for all concerned. All too often parents and children have different ideas and different view points. My job is not only about dealing with the physical, tangeable stuff , but more importantly about the wellbeing of the Seniors and families I am working with. With that in mind I have advice and tips for families and all those involved during the process.

8 Tips to help you with your parents’ move:

  • Start early. Give everyone plenty of time to adjust to the transition. Sit and discuss a plan of action with your parents. Remember that they will need more time that you would to make this move.
  • Keep your parents wellbeing first and foremost in your mind. Consider their opinions and wishes, and as far as possible, let them make the final decisions. Remember that your parents feel as though they are losing control of their lives, so respect their wishes as long as it doesn’t cause them harm.
  • Remember that this is their home, their precious belongings and memories you are working with. Items of great material value may be less important than items you might feel they should let go.
  • Focus on sorting in short bursts regularly. Start with easier items like linen and kitchenware, clothes and paperwork, moving onto ornamentals, memorabilia, heirlooms and photographs. Stop if you feel they are tiring. Listen to their stories. Look at the photographs with them. This is precious time you won’t get back and often you will learn a lot more about their youth and your extended family.
  • As you go, accept their gifts. It will be easier for them to let go cherished items if they know family members will enjoy them. This is the time to pass on heirlooms, to take away all those items that your parents have stored for you over the years.
  • New brooms don’t always sweep clean. You might feel you would like to spoilt them with all new things, but check in with them first. It’s so important that your parents have a degree of familiarity in their new home. Their favourite coffee mugs, however old, will be comforting.
  • Be respectful and tactful. Perhaps thing are not as clean or organised as you would have them. Quietly clean as you go if you must, but avoid embarrassing them.
  • Remember you have your own life, your home, work and family to think about during this time. Consider hiring a professional to assist you with the practical task of downsizing, packing, moving and unpacking. This way you can focus on supporting your parents emotionally, spending time doing happy things as a family and being emotionally supportive.

Most of all, their wellbeing and dignity should always be your first priority.

They’ve earned it! They deserve it!

Contact Us

Telephone: +27 (0)82 926 3531
Email: judith@allsortednow.co.za