Relocation to a new home is often a very difficult, detailed, and long process especially for senior citizens who have restrictions on physical activity. Since their endurance levels have decreased and they can no longer lift very heavy items due to health concerns, it is important to consider your elder family member to ensure that they are too, guilt and stress free, and are helping you to their best ability move to your new home.
You should always have a family meeting with all members present to discuss the move, the move date, and the destination. Be open to all questions and be patient with all members. Create a list of small tasks that you want all members to start with, so the senior citizen feels like they are involved and are not singled-out. Taping a calendar to your refrigerator marking the days until the move date is also a great idea so that both children and the elderly can plan ahead.
Seniors understand that their eyesight and physical abilities are not as they used to be, so it is always important that you are supportive and compassionate towards your loved one, knowing they are trying their best to assist you. When helping them pack, try to provide positive support and assistance to encourage them. However, it’s best to assist only when they ask you to because you may make them feel inadequate if you try to step in to do something they are capable of doing.
Like your children or your pets, you should always be patient with the elderly. They might pack or clean slowly, but they are doing it which is very helpful. Try to schedule a pack day weeks in advance so they can pack their belongings without any stress or rush and so they would know where to find their things when it’s time to unpack.
Our rooms are full of memories and stories that we all treasure. This is no different for the elderly. A good idea when they are beginning to pack their room is to take a picture of the room so they can rearrange all of their possessions the same way in their new room. Provide them with a layout to the new house so they can become adjusted to the idea of moving and try to visualise where everything will be. If you are moving locally, you may also want to show them the new house and show them the neighbourhood so they can see where all grocery stores, parks, and community centres are.
If your elderly family members have trouble walking up the stairs, arrange for a company that specialise in stair lifts to install one in your new home. You can also let them choose a room on the first level as their personal room so they can completely avoid going up the stairs.
Once your belongings have been delivered to your new home, you should help the elderly unpack first so they are preoccupied with setting up their new room. Make sure that they have eaten at the end of the day because during stressful times, some people may forget to do so.
After everyone is settled in their rooms, give your children and the seniors a tour around the house to show how everything works and where everything is placed. You may need to explain how to operate thermostats and alarms to the elderly if they stay at home often.
Lastly, make sure they have access to all prescription information and medications at all times, this will maintain a timetable for them and will avoid any health precautions.