Moving An Elderly Person Or Couple
Let them maintain control
While you might think you’re helping, by sorting and packing their things for them, this can be a traumatic experience when an elderly person finds their things shipped off to goodwill or the dump. Even if they’re too weak to pack themselves, involve them in each step of the process, checking before anything is given away, as you don’t want to cause anguish later when they go searching for something that you threw out months ago. While this may slow down the entire moving process, it helps your elderly loved one maintain control of their life through this turbulant time.
Talk about family heirlooms
You may have discussed grandma’s wedding ring or other obviously valuable items, but there’s often family heirlooms littered throughout elderly people’s homes that just wouldn’t get noticed otherwise. Talk to your loved ones about what is important to them and what they’d like to see passed on to future generations, especially things that might not already be in the Will. This is also a great chance to learn about family history and you may uncover some fascinating things about what your parents, grandparents and great-grandparents got up to long before you were around.
Help them pack an essentials bag
No doubt the first night or two in their new home will still find their things packed up in boxes. Help pack an essentials bag to tide them over until certain boxes can be unpacked. This should include toiletries, clothing and basic crockery, but might also include photos, books and even special keepsakes that will make new, unfamiliar surrounding more comfortable and homey. Bedding should also be at the top of your list, because nothing ensures a good night’s sleep like a favourite pillow or blanket.
Do a tour of their new home
This is particularly important if your elderly loved one is moving into an aged-care facility. Ask them what is important to them and make time to look online and through brochures together, keeping a pros and cons list of each option. Organise visits to shortlisted homes and help them create a list of questions to ask nurses and other staff to ensure you’re picking the right place, together. If they’ve picked the place they’re moving to, they’re more likely to find the transition easier.
Let removalists do the heavy lifting
Let’s face it, between all of the above AND trying to reassure your elderly loved ones that this is the best decisionA for them, trying to plan and execute a move on your own would break the figurative straw on the camel’s back. Find a reliable, AFRA-accredited removalist to help take the major burden of moving their belongings from their old home into their new. A good removalist should also be able to organise to have different items dropped off to more than one location, should you need it, and will ensure any fragile heirlooms are handled with the greatest care.