Tips For Helping An Elderly Relative Through The Moving Process

Dated: December 11 2018

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Downsizing often becomes a necessity for seniors due to illness, lack of mobility, or some other infirmity. While it can be a welcome relief, downsizing is usually an emotional challenge that means leaving behind surroundings and enough memories to fill a lifetime. It must be done carefully and without traumatizing your relative because it means finding them a new place to live and getting rid of familiar belongings. Here are a few ideas for helping to soften the blow.

Finding a New Home

Your loved one’s new home should be chosen based on their physical needs and financial situation. Points to consider should include mobility, caregiving needs, and budgetary limits, as well as personal preferences. Location concerns might include proximity to family, amenities, and healthcare providers. Options may include buying or renting a smaller house or apartment, moving in with family, or going into a retirement community or nursing home facility.

Do plenty of online research to get a gauge on home prices, sizes, and amenities in the area you’re looking. If you live in the La Crosse, WI, area, be aware that homes have sold for an average of $140,000 over the past month. Remember, choosing a new home is an important first step because it determines how much downsizing there is to be done.

Start Decluttering

It’s usually advisable to approach the task of decluttering on a room-by-room basis. Otherwise, it’s difficult to make headway and too easy to get sidetracked. Unless you’re very short on time, it’s a good idea to begin small, ease into it, and begin with small rooms that have less clutter, such as a linen closet or laundry room. That should make it easier to go through belongings in large rooms and storage areas, which may be more difficult to cope with emotionally. Have a plan for how you’ll tackle the task and stick to it.

Separate everything into piles, depending on whether you’re going to throw it away, recycle it, or donate it. Be sure to handle each item before making a final decision to avoid getting rid of something your loved one doesn’t want to lose. You can simplify things by determining whether an object has been used within the past year or if it has substantial financial or emotional value.

Always be careful about selecting a moving company. Read online reviews carefully and take time to comparison shop. Remember as you downsize that moving companies charge based on weight, so getting rid of as much as possible will help keep moving costs under control.

Professional Help

If decluttering and downsizing proves too much for your relative, it may be necessary to hire a senior move manager, someone who has experience helping older adults as they transition to a new home and lifestyle. A senior move manager can help you find the right living situation for a loved one, organize and facilitate the downsizing process, and make arrangements on your behalf with the moving company. It can be very valuable to have someone who knows what to expect and can hold your loved one’s hand through what may be an emotionally wrenching process. A senior move manager can help eliminate the possibility of financial exploitation and make downsizing and a senior’s move go smoothly.

Seniors often go through a very difficult time when they have to leave a home of many years as well as their possessions. Be methodical about selecting living arrangements and downsizing, and let your loved one set the pace. Remember, this is likely to be a very emotional period time for them, so avoid pushing them too hard.

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Article provided by Michael Longsdon

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Renee Heintz

I am a full-time real estate agent at Century 21 Affiliated. I am licenced in both WI and MN, so I do business in La Crosse County and surrounding areas. I have been in the real estate business since....

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