Chances are that ever since you were little, your parents have been helping you out in one way or another. Whether it was dealing with homework or providing emotional support, you could always count on them. However, as they get older, the roles start to reverse. They may sometimes need your help for a change, as they’re not physically able to do everything they did when they were younger. One of those situations is moving houses. It is a lengthy, stressful, and physically demanding process that can be challenging for the elderly. If you’re wondering what you can do to help your elderly parents move, we’ve put together a list of tips for you.
Make arrangements for them
Things like accessible healthcare and community services are essential to all of us. However, they are even more significant for the elderly. Your parents probably need different types of support in everyday life, and it’s necessary to consider that during the move. They may be managing well on their own now but there may come a time when they also need help with personal care or help around the home. Make sure they have factored this in to their requirements for a new home. It is much more difficult to get the right care at home if you live in a remote area. Before they choose a house, you can do them a favor by checking the area. Depending on their mobility, they might not be able to do it independently. However, it is essential as this will ensure that they can access everything they need, be it care in their own home, a doctor or a walking trail.
Once your parents decide where they’re moving to, you can make different arrangements for them. Contact their bank or health insurance provider to get information on the coverage in the new area. If anything needs to be adjusted, it’s always easier to do it upfront. Also, try checking the place out for some organized activities for the elderly. All of these will improve their quality of life in the new area. However, dealing with everything can be tiresome for them. That is where your help can come in handy, and they will appreciate it.
Get your hands on decluttering
When people move houses, they often don’t take everything they own with them. The moving process is an excellent time to declutter and get rid of some items that aren’t completely necessary. However, this may not be such an easy task for the elderly. Going through endless piles of things can be physically and mentally demanding. That is why one of the best things you can do to help your elderly parents move is to pull up your sleeves and get the physical work done for them.
Of course, you can’t do all the decluttering by yourself. If you haven’t lived with your parents for a while, you probably don’t know what they want or need to keep. The best way to overcome this is to work together. First, make a decluttering plan with them and decide what needs your attention. You do the work, but have your parents guide you through the process and be available for questions. That is the fastest and easiest solution for everyone, including you and them.
Keep things in the family
While eliminating unnecessary belongings can feel liberating, there’s another side to it. Feeling connected to things in your home is very common, especially if you’ve lived there for a long time. That is why saying goodbye to objects can be challenging for parents, even if they don’t need those things anymore. Luckily, there’s an easy solution for this. Instead of throwing unnecessary stuff away, consider giving it to other family members. You can contact them and ask who needs what, as well as organize the transport of everything. By keeping things in the family, you can provide your parents with a sense of calm. Knowing their beloved things are not in a dump site but with loved ones can be extremely comforting.
Moving houses isn’t easy for anyone, let alone an older person. Your parents probably have their own set of worries regarding both the move and the new home. They might not admit it and may insist that everything is under control. After all, they might have a hard time adjusting to the idea of their child being their helper. Still, offering to talk to them about it can mean the world. When people are stressed, they tend to make mistakes and get frustrated. To avoid this, you can always suggest they try some strategies for dealing with stress during a move. Finally, let them know that you’re there for them. Some people may refrain from asking their children for help, so offering it beforehand is very important.
Give the new house a homey vibe
Leaving can be quite hard if your parents have been living in their old home for a long time. After all, it is the home they have built their life in. While you can’t erase the emotional attachment to their old house, you can help make the new one feel like home. For example, if your parents spend much of their time outside, you can give their backyard a little love. If they like to cook, unpack their kitchen for them ahead of time. These actions can tremendously ease the transition and aren’t that much work for you.
Another great way to give the new place a homey vibe is to bring pieces of memorabilia. If your parents have a lot of family photos sitting in frames around the house, put those up first. Any family heirloom decorations? Dedicating a space for them is a priority. Things like these can seem little and irrelevant, but they make any house a home.
Even though it may seem like it sometimes, trying to help your elderly parents move doesn’t have to be hard work. Like most things, good planning, communication, and organization are the key. Suppose you feel like you’re doing too much or too little. They’ve been in the position of a helper, so they know how you think. The thing that might get you through the whole process is knowing that you are doing a nice thing for your parents, which they appreciate. Good luck!