Transitioning your senior loved one over to an assisted living or memory care community can be challenging, but steps can be taken to help the move go smoothly.
It may be difficult for both you and your loved one to accept that they need to move, but most moves turn out to be a good thing.
Aside from the emotional aspect of moving, you will need to consider the physical labor, cost, and how much support you will need.
No matter how you do it, moving is time-consuming, tricky, and requires planning. When you plan ahead and communicate with your senior loved one, it will take some stress out of the move.
Helping seniors move is different from your typical moving experience. They’ve spent a lifetime collecting items, held on to decades of memories, and have valuables that require special care.
Understanding this and hiring a moving company that will respect such valuables is essential.
Talk with your senior about the move
Most seniors would love to age in place, but that is not always possible.
Talking to your senior about the perks of moving to an assisted living community may be helpful. Often, seniors spend a lot of time alone. Assuring them that they will have opportunities to socialize and participate in fun activities may help them look forward to the move.
Your loved one may worry about what will happen to their things and who will transport their belongings to their new home. Let them know you will help them throughout the moving process and hire a company that will keep their belongings safe and insured.
While it can be challenging to trust others with such important items and keepsakes, doing your research on moving companies and reading their reviews is beneficial in showing you which companies are responsible.
Moving preparation tips
Learning a few tips for helping seniors move into their new homes will help them approach moving with ease and peace of mind.
It’s always best to plan early, especially when moving.
Rushing is stressful, and important deadlines are missed or forgotten. If you wait until the last minute, you are likely to misplace things and forget to buy certain moving supplies.
You may also miss out on being able to hire the moving company of your choice if you wait too long to schedule a moving date with them.
Downsize and organize valuables
One of the pain points of helping seniors move is the amount of stuff they’ve accumulated over their lifetime. Your senior loved one may have a lot of belongings in their home that they no longer need. Over time, a lot of items get brought into a house, never to be used again.
Before packing up your senior’s things, it would be wise to go room to room and get rid of garbage, broken items, and things they will never use again. This should be done with their input so as not to agitate them.
If they argue to keep too many things, just put the items in a pile to discuss later. You can gently let them know that they simply won’t have room for everything.
After you downsize their items, you can organize documents, mementos, and everything else that needs to be separated and organized before the move. Organizing will help when it comes to packing and unpacking.
Get a floor plan of the new home
Before the move, reach out to the assisted living community and ask for floor plans. Doing this will help you in the long run, and it will give you a good idea of how your senior’s new home will be set up and organized.
It will also let the senior know what they can expect in their new home.
Taking measurements of furniture is another excellent way to determine how you will arrange your senior’s home.
This is especially important if your senior has large pieces of furniture. Knowing if they will fit will save you the pain of guessing, or worse, trying to move it into their new home only to discover it won’t work.
Ask about policies and inclusive packages
Some assisted living communities are fully furnished.
Ask about this before loading up your senior’s microwave, stove, and refrigerator. There is no need to bring appliances that come with the new home.
If your senior needs safety features, ask about these as well. Many communities offer safety amenities, but you will want to purchase them before the move if they do not.
Checklist for leading up to the move
2 months before the move
- Obtain the floor plan to the new home
- Downsize, toss or donate broken or unwanted items
- Decide on the furniture that your senior will bring
- Research moving companies
1 month before the move
- Make a reservation with the moving company you have chosen
- Start packing smaller and rarely used items
- Ask family members for help if you’ll need help
- Notify utility companies to cancel services
- Change address with USPS
- Notify bank, doctors, and others of the change in address
2 weeks before the move
- Confirm the move-in date with family, friends, and/or movers
- Take photographs of valuables and furniture for insurance purposes
1 week before the move
- Pack up your senior’s home
- Pack a bag or box of necessities to get through them the first few days in the new
- Make a schedule for moving day
- Plan what your senior will eat for the first couple of days in their new home
- Be sure that utilities will be on when they get to the new home
How to pack
Start packing the least used room first because these items won’t be needed until the move is complete. The room-by-room approach will make organizing, packing, and unpacking simpler. It also helps to label your boxes with which room they belong to.
When packing the kitchen, you will need bubble wrap and sectioned boxes. These supplies will keep your dishes and glasses from breaking.
If you’re bringing small appliances to your senior’s new home, taping or zip-tying the cords can make it easier to transport them and prevent accidents.
Wrap any decorations in bubble wrap to keep them safe from possible damage during the move. If your loved one has rugs, they want to bring, roll, then tape, or tie them up.
If the legs come off of their dining room chairs, you can remove them for easier transporting.
Wrap artwork and mirrors in blankets, and bubble wrap knick-knacks and valuables. If electronics are coming, be sure to cover any screens, tape up cords, and tape remotes to each electronic to avoid getting lost.
Pack up blankets, bedding, and pillows in large and extra-large boxes. These are relatively light items that won’t make larger boxes too heavy. For books or heavier items, use smaller sized and medium-sized boxes.
Organize jewelry in containers to prevent pieces from getting lost or damaged.
Casual clothing can be folded and placed into boxes, while dresses or formal clothing can stay on hangers and be covered with bags or in a wardrobe box.
Pack all of your senior’s toiletries together so they will be easily accessible when your senior gets into their new home.
Road Scholars Moving Company — Helping Seniors Move
At Road Scholars, we offer moving and storage services for residential and long-distance moves.
During this overwhelming time, our team can ease your worries by giving a helping hand and transporting your loved one’s belongings safely.
There is no job too big or too small for our skilled team. If you are looking for quality services or products, we have you covered.
Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of our professional moving services and your free moving quote.