Moving elderly relatives and friends needs careful planning
Moving home can be frustrating and tedious at the best of times but for people who are ageing and not as agile and fit as they were it’s even harder. If you are assisting an elderly friend or family member to move here are some tips which can make the process less stressful for them and you.
1. Be understanding
For many people relocating is a positive step since they are either leaving their parent’s home to start adult life or buying a larger home to begin a family. However, for the older generation it is more likely to be sad affair. Perhaps they are going into a care home as they can no longer live on their own, or they are downsizing due to the death of a loving partner, or on a slightly happier note their 40 something children have finally moved out. It’s important that whatever the reason that the move doesn’t look like admitting defeat. Therefore, it’s a good idea to acknowledge their situation and try to emphasize the positive side of the process.
2. Give them plenty of time
Older people are likely to take longer to organize themselves, not only are they less physically fit but also relocating is likely to reawaken memories as they encounter forgotten objects and photos that they haven’t seen for years, just be patient with them. It can be difficult to decide what to do when it comes to sentimental items so this process needs to be treated carefully.
3. Make them feel in charge
Whilst you may be delegating or doing much of the demanding work, try not to be patronizing. Ask how they would like the process to work as opposed to making assumptions. Suggest useful tasks that can keep them occupied, such as contacting the removal companies or labelling boxes, at least that way they will feel useful.
4. Be armed with information
Be a reliable source of information relating to the move so that the person can feel relaxed about the entire process. Nothing is as important as reassuring an elderly person when moving. Try to know the dimensions of the new home in advance to avoid any last minute issues. Know what items are allowed and what is needed.
5. Let them be in contact
Most probably they will be leaving a network of acquaintances and relatives and a life that they had been used to, ensure you organise a way that allows them to send personal goodbye messages to their friends. Include the contact address for their new residence in these messages so they can continue to communicate. It’s normal when moving to loose contact so speak with them all and ask them to stay in touch.
6. Help them settle quickly
If they will be cohabiting with new people, in a home for example, this can be a little awkward, make sure they are introduced them to their new ‘family’. Help them to arrange and display their personal effects in their new home as this will make the space seem more familiar and they will feel more relaxed.
7. Make the move interesting
Although the process can be tiresome if you approach it with a positive attitude you can intersperse laborious tasks with frequent breaks and serve them their favourite dishes. You can also listen to their favourite music while you work together.
8. Find a good removals company
Help them find a good removal company, you are probably in a better position of determining the most appropriate moving company than they are. Remember, older people love their errands to be accomplished in a systematic manner and moving will upset their routine. We at BYMV are aware of the issues when moving the elderly and will send a van with man who is sensitive to their concerns, you can be guaranteed of first rate service. We are professionals and we treat senior citizens with the highest level of respect. Reach us on 020 3327 7300, if you wish to know more on how we can help your elderly relatives or friends move.
Article written by Simon Gare
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