Whether you’re moving friends or family, relocating senior citizens to a new country or even a new home can be difficult. As depicted comically in the heartwarming movie Up, the elderly are not exactly fond of change. And when they are, they will have many issues along the way. But just like anybody else, all they need is to be understood. It starts with communication, planning, and a whole lotta listening.
Preparing for the big day
Talk about it… a lot: When moving the elderly, it is important to involve them in the conversation as early as possible. Many senior citizens process information slowly, taking their time with things. Sometimes, they might be averse even to the idea of moving. But making them aware of the inevitability of the move in the early stages of the plan will greatly help them gradually ease into it. Be sure to constantly engage them in conversation about the move, the place they are moving to, and the life there. Also be aware of their concerns and their needs. This may not always be the case, but it will surely help them know that they are not forgotten.
Scout resources ahead of time: One of the main reasons why the elderly are averse to moving is because they have become comfortable in the place they’re in. Senior citizens love their routines, and in a world that is changing at the speed of sound, they take comfort in the familiar. Their regular doctor, chemist, greengrocer, hair dresser, and other social circles play a big part in their lives. And the thought of leaving them behind can be frightening. At this point, consider finding alternatives for them at their new home. It would be smart to find a suitable doctor, chemist, or even a club (based on their hobbies) beforehand and make them aware of the same. Elders need time to get accustomed to new environments and doing this only speeds the process after you’ve actually moved.
Help with the packing: This might seem like a no-brainer, but it is all the more important with senior citizens. Over the years, old-timers are bound to have collected a wealth of belongings – some sentimental, some arbitrary. But being sensitive to what they value is key. Sometimes, moving all their belongings may not be possible; especially when moving internationally. And in such a case, helping them decide what they want to do with their belongings can ease their concerns. Nancy Pelham says that her grandmother sent a list of all the items she wished to give away to her daughters and asked them to pick what they wanted to keep. Perhaps something similar can be employed. Most times, the elderly are nostalgic about their belongings and would just like to see them in the right hands. Alternatively, many movers also provide storage solutions that can keep goods safe until you may need them again.
Making the leap – one small step at a time
Have them move beforehand: Moving day can be exhausting for an average person. And it only gets worse for the elderly. The emotional strain of leaving whatever they know behind, coupled with the physical effort it takes, can be overwhelming at times. It is best, then, to have senior citizens move early. There isn’t much they can do in terms of heavy lifting and moreover, may become an additional burden during the actual move. Having them stay with a relative during this stressful phase is recommended for everyone’s benefit. Ensure that they have access to all their medication and other personal items during this stage. And finally, get the new home cleaned, and their belongings unpacked before having them move in.
Reassure them about their belongings: One of the concerns the elderly tend to have is the safety of their goods. Having them meet the mover beforehand should greatly ease this worries. Professional movers will not hesitate to take the extra time to meet, listen to their concerns, and, of course reassure them that their belongings are in safe hands. At this time, you can also make the mover aware of the objects sentimental to them and which objects to move with care.
Trust your movers with their job: This may be a big leap for you, but professional movers move homes on an everyday basis. The key word here is professional. After finding the right movers for your needs, it is important that you trust them with their job. Apart from a few instructions, do not get overtly involved. Whether packing, moving, or unpacking, professional movers will be prompt, and coming in their way will only reduce their efficiency.
Have a home tour at the end: Once you have moved and unpacked, it may be a good idea to have a family tour of the new home. Have everyone – children, adults, senior citizens – taken on a tour around the house, explaining how everything works and where things are placed. You may also need to explain how certain gadgets such as thermostats, air conditioners, and water heaters function. Additionally, make sure everyone is fully aware of what to do in case of an emergency and who to call if anything needs fixing. This tour can further be extended into a local neighborhood tour. Most professional movers will be able to help you identify these resources too.
In order to move in the most efficient way possible, it is important to pick the best movers available. Someone who wholly understands the nuances of moving.
Globe Moving comes with over 45 years of industry experience and has successfully moved people of all ages around the globe. And we can most definitely help you too!