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Tips to Help Older Adults Move

Jul 26th 2015 at 1:17 PM

When senior citizens move it is often because they must move.  The reasons vary but the result is the same. Confusion, resentment, fear, anxiety, and depression can all play a part. At Low Cost Movers we have developed a list of strategies we rely upon to help make moving senior citizens as stress free as possible.

1. Be kind.  This may seem like a given. However, when helping seniors sort and pack their things, keep in mind that their eyesight and an inability to do everything they used to do can result in poor housekeeping habits. Instead of commenting negatively, offer to clean as you pack and try not to criticize.

2. Help sort. Like all of us, seniors tend to keep things they don't necessarily need to move or will ever use. Be gentle when suggesting they get rid of possessions. Ask them if they use the item and if they would mind if you donated it. If it's a treasure or something they'd like to keep but the new space can't accommodate it, suggest keeping it in the family by giving it to a grandchild or another sibling. It's often easier to give away items if they are going to a good home.

3. Take pictures of the inside of their home. As close as possible, try to place objects in a similar way so that their new home will feel very much like the old one. Be as detailed as you can from arranging the bedroom furniture to placing the family pictures on the bureau. This will help make the new place feel like home.

4. Obtain a room layout of their new place. Find out before you move how much space the new place has. If you're parents are moving from a three bedroom house to a one bedroom condo, then together you'll need to decide what will fit and how much can be kept. Again, offer to keep the pieces they can't move or try to keep them in the family if possible.

5. Start small. Take a day to spend with the seniors who are moving to talk about the move and what to expect. Give them small tasks to do such as going through a desk drawer or a box from the attic. Ask them to spend only 15 to 20 minutes a day on one task. Let them decide what they'd like to do and what they might find hard to do. Taking small steps will help theem get used to the idea of moving.

6. Pick a room that has less sentimental attachment. A good strategy is to have the senios who are moving sort through the bathroom or kitchen drawers; a place in the house that doesn't hold the same emotional attachment as the bedroom or living room or a photo box kept in the attic.

7. Plan the move. Senior citizens should allow enough time so that they don't feel rushed. Sorting through years of stuff is difficult and sometimes emotionally painful. Senior citizens need time to absorb and process the change.

8. Hire outside help. Sometimes it's easier for moving seniors to work with an outside party than with their children.

9. Be patient. Allow moving seniors time to say goodbye. If they take longer to clean out the desk drawer because of a stack of pictures they found, let them take the time to remember. This is a very important part of the process. Be patient. Listen to their stories.

10. Get them involved. If you have access to the new home, take the moving seniors there, introduce them to the new space. Do this on their own time, when they're ready. Let them tell you how they'd like it to look and make a plan to prepare the space accordingly.

For more information please visit: Chicago Office Moving Services

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