10 Tips for Moving an Elderly Parent
From leaving a home filled with memories to losing a sense of independence, moving an elderly parent can be both emotionally and physically taxing. To make the transition and overall experience a smooth one, follow these 10 tips below.
Plan using a blueprint of the new home
Before moving your elderly loved one, be sure to obtain a blueprint of the hew home. This way you can help plan and create a more accurate floor plan. Make sure to measure all furniture ahead of time to see what will fit where. Go through each room and write a list of all of the belongings they’ll need. Afterwards, you should have a better idea of what not to bring with you on the move.
Donate or consign excess belongings
Chances are good that there’s a long list of of excess items and belongings to dispose of – especially if your parent is downsizing. For gently-used items that are still in decent shape, I suggest contacting local charities, such as Goodwill or a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. These organizations offer pick-up services and will be happy to take those couches, chairs and other extra home items off your plate.
Junk removal service
Moving to a new home means a fresh start – and less junk! To avoid junking up your loved one’s new home with chipped dinnerware, broken electronics and other useless items, call 1-800-GOT-JUNK to schedule an at-home pick-up. This junk removal service will take almost anything you wish to throw away and dispose of it responsibly.
Rent a storage unit
Perhaps your loved one isn’t quite ready to part with certain items. Or they’re planning to pass them down to future generations. Whatever the reason – you may need to rent a storage unit to hold the rest of their belongings. Storage facilities are a secure, convenient and easy-to-access option for those who also need a temporary place to store things while moving. Several self-storage facilities to consider include U-Haul, Public Storage, Extra Space Storage and CubeSmart. For more information about these facilities, check here.
Enlist family members to help
Taking on an elderly parent’s downsizing project and/or relocation is a major undertaking. Unless you happen to be an organization queen, you’re going to need help from family members (and possibly friends as well) with sorting and packing. To ask others to help with the move, I recommend contacting family members well in advance. This will give them enough time to figure out which weekends or weekdays work best for them. Obviously, if they are not able to help out, you’ll need to look at alternative options, such as a moving company or a relocation specialist.
Arrange travel ahead of time
When moving an elderly loved one, there will be quite a few travel logistics to consider. The health of your loved one and any mobility issues will also greatly influence how you move them. For those flying, I recommend calling ahead to request a wheelchair and any other additional services needed. If you’re driving, be sure your car is easily accessible. AARP states that minivans, crossover SUVs and sedans are the most well-suited cars for traveling with an elderly person.
Find a new doctor
Healthcare should be top of mind when moving an elderly loved one. If the senior is moving to a new city or state, you’ll need to help them find a new doctor as soon as possible. I recommend calling a few months before the move to schedule an appointment with a doctor in the new city. Also be sure to let your loved one’s current doctor know about the move. Prescription refills should be moved to a pharmacy near their new home as well.
Hire professional movers
If moving an elderly relative, I highly recommend hiring a professional moving company to help with the load. Not only will hiring reputable movers ease the burden of relocating a lifetime’s worth of belongings, but it’ll also ensure that those belongings make it safely to the new home. In addition to loading and unloading the truck, most professional moving companies also offer packing and unpacking services. So be sure to inquire about the pricing of these services as well. To find the best moving company to handle the move, check Moving.com’s extensive network of reliable movers. All relocation companies in our network are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your move will be in good hands.
Consider hiring a specialist to help
Good news! You don’t have to be the only one to help your loved one move. Besides enlisting friends and family, you can also hire a specialist from Caring Transitions or an official Senior Move Manager. Here’s a little bit of information on both options:
Caring Transitions Specialist – Caring Transitions is a well-known franchise with locations throughout the U.S. The company’s services include comprehensive downsizing, relocation, estate sales and move management solutions for seniors. A Caring Transitions Specialist in your area can assist with all of the services mentioned above plus packing, home staging, organizing and sorting, paperwork and more. Each Caring Transitions Specialist has been well vetted and has earned the Certified Relocation Transitions Specialist (CRTS) designation. To find a Caring Transitions Specialist near you, visit the company’s website and enter your zipcode.
Senior Move Manager – Senior Move Managers are members of the National Association of Senior Move Managers(NASMM) and specialize in moving services involving older adults. They can handle every aspect of a senior relocation including: organizing, sorting and downsizing; developing an overall move or “age in place” plan; customizing floor plans; arranging for the profitable disposal of unwanted items through auction, estate sale, buy-out, consignment, donation, or a combination of the above; interviewing, scheduling and overseeing movers; arranging shipments and storage; supervising and overseeing of professional packing; unpacking and setting up the new home; and more. To find a qualified Senior Move Manager®, visit NASMM’s website and click on “Find a Senior Move Manager®.”
Prep the new home
Finally, you’ll need to properly prep the new home to best accommodate your parent’s needs. Several easy fixes include: installing an electric stair lift, plugging in night lights, installing a walk-in bathtub; adding a stool for seating in the tub; installing safety rails inside the tub; placing a ramp outside the front door; installing an elevator; and replacing the shower head with one that is hand-held.
By properly preparing for the move and prepping the new home, your loved one should have a much easier transition. Best of luck and happy moving!
Source: White, Marian. "10 Tips for Moving an Elderly Parent." Moving.com. 27 December 2017. https://www.moving.com/tips/10-tips-for-moving-the-elderly/