Moving seniors from their homes is never easy. With time, they have become accustomed to their neighbourhood and created a safe environment.
Changing the established lifestyle may cause stress and discomfort, so it is vital to understand their needs and what you can do to ensure that they feel safe during a move.
Communicate and Involve the Senior
Effective communication and engagement are important for the safe and comfortable relocation of older persons. Initial discussions with more senior people should be open and honest and address any concerns or fears they may have about the move.
Involving older people in decision-making processes, such as choosing a new home and discussing the timeline, can reduce anxiety by giving them a sense of control.
Keep communication channels open throughout the move so that older people feel listened to and supported.
Assess Health and Mobility Needs
When moving an older person, assessing their health and mobility needs is crucial to ensure a smooth move.
Consider any medical conditions, physical limitations or mobility challenges requiring special attention. Consult a doctor, physiotherapist or other health professional to understand any special requirements and make the necessary arrangements.
When choosing a new living space, consider how accessible it is, if there is enhanced security and the proximity to healthcare facilities. Ensuring that the environment is adapted to older people’s health and mobility needs contributes to their overall comfort and well-being.
Create a Moving Plan and Timeline
Proper move planning and scheduling are important for seniors moving to a new location. Start by creating a comprehensive checklist of tasks, such as sorting and packing, notifying interested parties, and coordinating with movers and family members.
Divide tasks into manageable steps and allow enough time for each stage of the moving process. Take into account the older person’s fitness level and the rest time needed to avoid fatigue and strain.
Involve people you trust, such as family and friends, to help with logistics and support. Clear planning and scheduling will ensure the older person’s move is smooth and orderly, minimising stress and disruption.
Downsize and Organise Belongings
Downsizing and organising belongings is an important step in moving an elderly person. The first step is to manage the elder’s belongings and categorise them as items to keep, donate, sell or discard.
Encourage them to focus on keeping sentimental and necessary items while giving away unwanted ones. Help them create a system to organise their remaining belongings and use storage solutions such as labelled boxes, bins and shelves.
Put frequently used items within easy reach and prioritise ease of use. Downsizing and organising their belongings reduces the physical and emotional burden of moving and creates a more functional and comfortable living space.
Reducing the amount of stuff you need to transport will also reduce the expenses towards moving companies.
Safety-Proof the New Home
Ensuring the safety of the new residence is of utmost importance for older people when moving.
Survey the new living space thoroughly to identify potential hazards and risks. Install basic safety features such as bathroom handrails, stair railings and adequate lighting in hallways and doorways.
Eliminate tripping hazards, secure loose carpets and ensure easy movement of furniture arrangements.
Consider consulting a professional or occupational therapist to assess and address specific safety concerns if necessary. Taking the time to take safety precautions in your new home will give you peace of mind and help prevent accidents and injuries.
Pack an Essentials Kit
Preparing a basic needs kit to meet the immediate needs of older people arriving in their new homes is essential.
Pack a bag or box with essentials that will be needed immediately, such as medicines, toiletries, a change of clothes, important documents and any aids or medical equipment they need.
Include basic kitchen utensils, bedding and other essentials to make the first few days in their new home comfortable.
Clearly label essentials and ensure they are easily accessible throughout the moving process. Having them on hand will reassure older people and make the transition to their new living environment smoother.
Coordinate Utilities and Services
Coordinating utilities and services is crucial to ensure a smooth transition for seniors during the move.
Start by contacting the utility provider to plan the shutdown of services at the old residence and service connections at the new one. This includes electricity, gas, water, internet and telephone.
Arrange for an easy transition by setting up the proper timing of these services and minimising disruption. Also, update the older adult’s address with relevant organisations such as banks, insurance companies and healthcare providers to ensure continuity of vital services.
Supportive Moving Day Assistance
Support on moving days is essential to keep older people comfortable.
Arrange for family, friends or moving house professionals to help with the physical aspects of the move, such as heavy lifting and logistical handling. Research businesses that offer moving services for seniors.
Plan for older people’s needs, fitness levels and the necessary breaks. Understand that moving can be emotionally challenging for them and provide support and reassurance throughout the process.
Consider hiring an elderly relocation specialist or caregiver specialising in helping seniors move. Providing supportive assistance on a moving day can help seniors feel less stressed and more comfortable with the process.
Settling Into the New Home
Helping older people adjust to their new homes is crucial for their comfort and well-being. Start unpacking and organising essential items such as bedding, toiletries and kitchen utensils.
Unpack sentimental and important belongings as soon as possible and prioritise creating a familiar and comfortable living environment.
Take time to explore the new neighbourhood together and identify nearby facilities such as grocery stores, medical facilities and places to socialise. Establish routines and familiarise them with the layout of their new home to give them a sense of familiarity and security.
Check in with the elderly regularly and address any concerns or needs throughout the adaptation period. Helping older people get used to their new homes will help them adapt and thrive in their new environment.
Moving an older person requires a thoughtful approach that prioritises their safety, comfort and well-being.
Involving seniors in decision-making, assessing their health needs, and creating a comprehensive moving plan can help reduce their stress and anxiety.
Downsizing and organising their belongings according to their needs and wishes, prioritising safety in their new place and packing essentials are vital for making them feel safe.
Reaching out to removals companies to assist you with the move will allow you to spend more time with the elderly to offer moral and physical support during the move.