Even if your parents have agreed to move to an independent care community, moving day can still be very emotional. In many cases, your parents are moving out of the home in which they raised their children. They know that a senior living community will be better in the long run for their safety and future medical needs, but you’ll still need to be patient and understanding on moving day.
Moving Your Elderly Parents Checklist
The below checklist is here to help make moving your elderly parents out of their home as easy as possible – both physically and emotionally – for everyone involved.
- Keep Your Parents Involved: As you begin to plan out the move and start to consider how your parents can downsize (more on that in a bit) be sure to keep your parents involved. Remember that this is still their decision and their home. Your parents may want to be in control of every aspect of the move or would prefer not to be involved at all. But regardless, that choice is up to them.
- Ask Friends and Relatives for Help: Moving your aging parents out of their home is a big job, so don’t be afraid to ask relatives and close friends for help. Even if they can’t be there on moving day but can show up to pack boxes for an afternoon, it’s a huge help.
- Organizing & Downsizing: Begin sorting household items by what your parents will need at the independent care community, as well as what they would like to bring. You should also talk to your parents about what items they would like to give to which family members. There will be plenty of warm memories (and maybe a few tears) as you and your parents go through old keepsakes, so be patient with them.
- Planning Ahead for Moving Day: All the planning of helping your elderly parents move has led to this. Now you should discuss the most efficient way to do it. Some choose to work with a full-service moving company that will load all the boxes onto the truck and move them to the independent living community. Others decide to rent their own truck and do the moving themselves. Obviously, a full-service company will be more expensive but much less physical strain and stress. Ultimately, the choice of how to move your elderly parents comes down to affordability and how much moving you can handle without professional movers.
Dos and Don’ts of Helping Your Elderly Parents Move
- Do Let Them Get Emotional: Some of the happiest moments of their lives have occurred in their home. It’s only natural that your parents may be emotional. Give them the time and space they need.
- Don’t Wait to the Last Minute: Start the process of packing up weeks, or better yet months, before the actual move. The situation will be stressful enough, no need to wait for the last few days to start. Sorting through which belongings to bring will take much longer than you may expect.
- Do Insist on Downsizing: In addition to not needing everything they have in their home (there are many amenities provided for your parents at the independent living community), their new space will likely be smaller than their current one. Talk to your parents about donating or selling some of their items. Or, if they would prefer to hang on to things for sentimental reasons, talk to them about renting a storage locker.
- Don’t Insist on What Your Parents Should and Should Not Keep: Your parents will have their reasons for wanting to keep certain items, even if those reasons are not abundantly clear to you. While you can make suggestions, leave these decisions up to your parents.
Benefits of an Independent Care Retirement Community
With the move underway, it’s okay to start focusing on all the positives of moving your aging parents to an independent living community. There are many very exciting reasons why an independent living community is right for them – from the practical (on-site medical care) to the fun (planned trips with fellow residents, on-site amenities like a fitness center).
If you have more questions about helping your senior parents move, you can contact a senior care advisor for free, 24/7.