Moving Seniors: Settling into a New Home
Some seniors have special needs and moves for seniors need special planning. Read for some tips to make it easier on them and you.
Approximately 52 percent of seniors in the United States require some kind of long-term care in their lifetime.
In some cases, this just means the help of a home health aide. In many cases, though, it requires moving to a nursing home, retirement community, or assisted living facility.
Do you think it's time for your elderly parent or loved one to consider relocating?
Moves for seniors can be quite tricky, from convincing them that moving is a good idea to actually packing up and leaving home.
If you think a move is a good call for your loved one and you want to know the best way to handle it, keep reading.
Listed below is everything you need to know about handling moves for seniors.
Signs Your Loved One Needs to Move
It's not always easy to tell when your loved one needs to move into a long-term care facility. Here are some signs that indicate a move might be necessary:
They have a hard time getting around their home on their own
They have a hard time cleaning and maintaining their home
They're forgetful or are showing other signs of dementia
They're neglecting to take their medication as directed
They're neglecting basic personal hygiene (bathing, changing clothes, etc.)
They're unable to cook for themselvesThey're isolated, withdrawn, or have lost interest in activities they once enjoyed
If you're noticing any of these signs in your loved one, it may be time to talk to them about downsizing and transitioning to a long-term care facility.
Talking About the Move
Some seniors are ready to move on and transition out of their home. Often, though, they're resistant to change and don't want to acknowledge the fact that they can't care for themselves effectively any longer.
If your parent or loved one falls into the latter category, you need to be strategic in the way you address the idea of them moving out.
The following are some tips that will help you broach the topic in an appropriate way:
Make It an Ongoing Discussion
Your parent or loved one might not be receptive to the idea of moving the first time you address it. If you plant seeds and make it an ongoing discussing, though, they might eventually come around to the idea.
Don't push them if they say no at first. Just ask them to think about it. Then, you can revisit the idea later and see if their mind has changed.
It's helpful to have others on your side when you bring up the issue. Recruit your siblings or other family members so that everyone is in agreement about the best approach for your parent or loved one. You may want to reach out to their doctor and see what they think, too.
Take Them on a Tour
Your parent or loved one might change their mind about relocating once they see where they'll be relocating. Try taking them on a tour of retirement communities or assisted living facilities in your area so they can get an idea of what the experience will be like.
Use the Right Phrasing
Using the right words can make all the difference when you're talking about relocating. Use words like "retirement community" instead of "nursing home," for example. Keep your tone light and pleasant, too, so they don't feel attacked.
Preparing for Moves for Seniors
Once you've convinced your parent or loved one that it's time for them to move to a retirement community or assisted living facility, the next step is actually preparing for the move.
This can be daunting, especially if your parent has lived in their home for a long time.
If you're feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of preparing your loved one for their move, these tips can help:
Take Pictures of the Home First
Before you start taking things apart, take some pictures of your parent or loved one's home. Pay special attention to areas like the bedroom and living room.
When you're getting them settled in their new place, you can refer to these pictures and try to arrange furniture and decorations so that they mimic those in their old home.
The sooner you start planning for the move, the better. Start early so that you have plenty of time to declutter and get your parent or loved one mentally prepared for the transition.
Remember to be patient with your parent or loved one, too. Moving out of their home and into a retirement community can be very challenging and emotional.
Allow them to take their time and don't try and pressure them into throwing everything away. Give them space to feel their emotions and prepare for this new stage of life.
Start with Less Sentimental Rooms
It helps to start with rooms about which your parent is less sentimental. The bathroom and storage areas, for example, likely don't hold as many fond memories as the kitchen and living room.
Finally, don't be afraid to hire professionals.
Professional movers and packers can make things a lot easier, especially if your parent or loved one is not in good physical condition and gets tired easily.
You may want to hire a senior moving specialist, too. They can help with packing and facilitating the move and also make sure all your parent's affairs are in order before they leave the house.
If you're planning on selling your parent's current house, be sure to hire a real estate agent to handle the sale, too.
Need Help Planning Your Loved One's Move?
As you can see, there's a lot that goes into preparing moves for seniors. From finding a new location to getting their affairs in order, it's easy to feel overwhelmed.
If you need help making plans for your loved one to help their move go more smoothly, we can help.
Contact us today to learn more about our Care Resources or for guidance on choosing the best next steps for your parent or loved one.
We're available 24/7 to answer your questions and put you in touch with other professionals, from benefits experts to those who run retirement and assisted living facilities.