Relocating can be a draining experience for everyone, regardless of age. However, it becomes incredibly more taxing for those in their twilight years. Moreover, such events can cause them depression and despair, especially if they are forced to uproot and give up the place they called home for years. But this is not always the case. If done right, the relocation can be beneficial for them.
According to studies, changing one’s environment can extend their life expectancy by 1 and a half years. This is a significant increase, considering that the average life span for senior citizens in the United States is 83 years. Furthermore, home migration helps older persons manage life changes better. That includes retirement, health issues, recovery, income, or death of a loved one.
Therefore, thorough preparation and execution of each phase are required to make the transition easier.
Allow them to be in charge.
Juggling your personal and professional life while managing the needs of an aging loved one can be exhausting. However, if you aren’t careful, this can result in a hasty decision that may end up harming both ends. That’s why it is vital to get them involved.
Unless they have Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or other age-related diseases that affect cognitive function and prohibit them from deciding for their own, involve them throughout all discussions and decision making. For example, you can let them choose the neighborhood they want to relocate to.
Consider taking them on a house-hunting tour. Go over communities that you think are safe for them to spend their retirement years. If mobility is an issue, you can scroll through websites such as ashburyestate.com.au to widen your options.
Moreover, when assisting an elderly moving into a new place, you must establish good communication. Remember that the whole process can easily overwhelm them. So, it is crucial to guide them through while still allowing them to be in charge of their own lives.
As simple as it may seem, communicating can be easily overlooked during the moving chaos. Therefore, you need to treat this aspect with care to ensure things run smoothly and avoid any misunderstanding.
Don’t rush! Ask for help.
Forcing a relocation is never a good idea. And if you are helping a senior with a move, taking your time is the best course of action. During the early phases, your primary focus should be on assisting them in adjusting. Pay attention to their worries and reach out if they need help.
Avoid trying to finish everything in one go, especially when you’ve reached the packing or clearing-out stage. Instead, consider asking for help. For example, you can ask your siblings, relatives, or family friends to help out by assigning them duties to ease the burden.
This can range from notifying the banks, visiting their doctors, terminating utilities, sifting through moving companies, and filing the necessary paperwork essential for the relocation. Working together makes the transition less exhausting and reduces stress for everyone.
Declutter before the move.
Starting a new life in a new home should begin with what you want to bring with you and leave behind. Thus, sorting through personal stuff is one of the most critical and complex parts of relocating. The goal is to minimize the expenses and get rid of the clutter. This includes old clothes, unwanted furniture, and other things that aren’t needed anymore.
However, before you proceed, make sure to consider their feelings. It may be difficult for them to let go of some items, especially those with sentimental values. Therefore, give them options and allow them to choose what they want to do with it.
Ask for their opinion about leaving their old couch. Are they okay with donating the clothes they don’t use anymore? What do they think about holding a garage sale to help pay for the remaining bills before moving out?
When you’re done, consider creating a visual catalog of everything that did not make the cut. This will give them the chance to browse over the photos after they move, enabling them to alleviate their post-relocation depression. Of course, you don’t have to let go of everything. Keep a few essential pieces that will remind them that that particular phase in their lives is vital.
It is important to note that emotional involvement towards the previous home and its belongings can have repercussions for everyone – including you. Therefore, it’s just as essential to check in on yourself along the process. If things get too much, remember that it is okay to pause. Allowing yourself to step back can help you deal with the situation better.