There comes a time in life when adult children may face the prospect of helping an elderly parent move accommodation. They could be moving into your home, or finding their way to a care facility, but whatever the circumstances may be, it is bound to bring a certain level of anxiety along for the journey.
The post below focuses on how to create a stress-free moving experience for an elderly parent so that this process is empowering and comfortable.
Empathy skills are either something you find comes naturally, or a thing to be actively learned. This is a time in life when your elderly parent is going to need not just a sympathetic ear, but an empathetic mind as well.
To go through a major transition like moving after a lifetime of memories in one location, is always going to be an emotionally infused situation.
This is why you need to show up with kindness and understanding for each stage of the journey. This will help your parent feel safe and listened to, two extremely important elements of well-being.
Discuss All of the Options
Once your empathy has been successfully engaged, it is time to talk about all of the options on the table. Senior accommodation comes in a variety of formats including assisted living, independent apartments in a senior village, care facilities, or moving in with you or another adult child.
Where they move to will be dictated by their physical and mental state at the time and any future considerations in this area too.
For instance, if your parent has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, they will undoubtedly require a higher level of concentrated care as the condition progresses.
This means, finding a memory-focused care facility that will be able to provide the right support is essential and this is where the search might start.
Arrange Personal Assets
When a senior moves out of their regular home and into somewhere new, there will be a lot of arrangements to make. Handling personal assets should always be a collaborative conversation, with the senior’s wants and wishes guiding the way ahead.
Lots of people choose to include an attorney in the proceedings, and it is a great time to update a will document too. Typical assets that need addressing include the house and everything inside it and things like personal vehicles, etc.
Find a Moving Company
It is difficult to move from one place to another without a van or a moving company on board. This is one job you can do well in advance.
In fact, having a van booked will not only tick an important task off the list but also grant peace of mind that you don’t have to think about it later.
If you are doing the move yourself, make sure you have the route planned out and clear lists of what is coming with and what is being sold on or given away.
Arrange Their Transport
Once the transportation of their goods has been handled carefully, it is time to think about how your senior parent will make the journey.
While lots of seniors do not carry health problems and, therefore, are not limited in the ways they can travel, a high number do have restrictive conditions.
In these cases, it is useful to have a medical flight transport company to take the lead and ensure there are no problems during the travel period.
This is a comforting service that will ensure that the elderly parent has exactly the right amount of professional input and remains looked after if you can’t be there.
One Step at a Time
This process will be a tiring one, and that is why you should all take it one step at a time. Make a list and focus on individual tasks as you move through it.
Take Time Out
While having a core focus on planning and moving is necessary, there should also be space for time out. Taking a break is the best way to counteract the signs and impacts of stress and will be a great way to step back and recalibrate for everyone involved.
Whether you head to the movies or go out for a nice walk at a local nature spot, the point is to have fun and unwind before the pressure mounts up.
Plan the Settling in Period in Advance
The settling-in period has to be well thought out. This is when your senior parent’s move is complete, and they are adjusting to their new routine and surroundings.
It can be made easier and more comfortable with simple strategies; for instance, ensuring that any maintenance or decorating is completed well in advance, and making space for personal belongings to be set up, like photographs on the walls before they arrive.
It also helps to have social activities planned, and particularly in circumstances where a senior is moving into assisted living or similar, the first few visit dates are booked in advance.
This gives them something to look forward to and a date to keep in mind as they navigate the changed environment.
Watch Out for Signs of Anxiety
Anxiety is one of the most stressful conditions to deal with, especially when it is ongoing. It is typical for anxious minds to spiral out of control, and this is the last thing anyone who is moving needs to be contending with.
The major indicators that anxiety plays a part include a parent who is looking for constant reassurance through repetitive questioning, physical signs of tiredness like sunken eyes and paler skin, weight loss, and general levels of distress.
The good news is that there are plenty of anxiety-focused tactics to alleviate the heavy load, and talking to a doctor will point you in the right direction.
Stress-free moves may be unimaginable, but they can be done with careful planning and a whole load of consideration throughout the process.
There will be a natural degree of anxiety to navigate, but as long as you work through things together, everything will fall into place. Don’t forget to make space for the settling in period and pay close attention to any medical needs that may need special arrangements too.