Helping Seniors Move: A Brief Guide

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Having an older family member move away is difficult for many reasons. Many individuals have deep-seated connections with their grandparents, for instance, often making regular visits even when the elders choose to live a quieter life in the suburbs. It’s gratifying to see that they’re able to maintain their independence, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case for a significant number of elderly individuals. Having to relocate your elderly loved ones to a senior living community is a very emotional experience. Therefore, we have designed this moving guide with seniors in mind which, if followed, will ensure a smooth and positive transition. Helping seniors move is a daunting task, and sometimes you, the helper, need a little help as well. Our Midtown Toronto movers will be more than happy to help you and your beloved family member have a bit of an easier experience.

Things you need to know when helping seniors move

Moving is a challenging process in and of itself, but for seniors, it is even more difficult. It’s not unusual for seniors to feel like they are not being heard or that they have been misunderstood. We believe that it is best to have an open conversation with them early on. Offer your help, but don’t force it. Openly talk with them about their feelings towards the upcoming move.

Two elder women in a senior facility
Living in a senior living community isn’t all that bad.

Some people look forward to being in a new community with their peers. Some even say that it is like college over again. But some will have a harder time accepting that this is the best decision for them. Reassure them that they will have everything they need and that you and your family will still be there for them. There is one important thing you must do, however. Contact a reliable moving company, such as Professional Movers Canada, on time. Even if they are hesitant at first, seniors will have peace of mind knowing their relocation is in trustworthy hands.

Step-by-step moving guide

The most important advice we have for you is to start the planning early. After so many years of living in the same place, your grandparents or parents have probably accumulated more stuff than you can think of. Equally as important is to have them have a say in what they will bring with them or not. Do not try to pressure them to do things your way even though it is the right way. Let them have as many choices when it comes to the move as possible.

When picking out a moving company, consult with them first. Get them involved in the process. And respect their wishes as much as you can. If you want to move with a different company, but they want local movers Toronto, then let them have local movers in Toronto. Read more about the steps you need to take when it comes to helping seniors move.

Finding the right fit

Selecting a senior living community for your aging loved one is not an easy task. There are many things you should take into consideration. You should involve them in this step as well. If they say that they don’t like something about it, look for more options. Understand their current and future healthcare requirements. If they require regular medical assistance, an assisted living facility might be the best option. Or, if they’re relatively healthy but need help with daily activities, they might be more suited to a senior living community. Lastly, if they have severe health conditions, they may need a nursing home. Some of the most important factors you should look into when choosing your new home are:

  • level of care 
  • activities 
  • dining programs 
  • location
A woman and a senior preparing for a move by looking at a laptop and researching facilities, since that is one of the best ways to help seniors move
Respect their wishes when you want to help seniors move

Also, depending on their needs, this might mean moving in with family or downsizing to a smaller home, not necessarily going to an assisted living facility. Research and visit potential options together. If a family member is available and willing to provide care, moving in with family can be a comforting option. This choice, however, requires a serious discussion about boundaries, responsibilities, and the potential need for home modifications for accessibility.

Additionally, for seniors who are still relatively independent but finding it hard to maintain a larger home, downsizing to a smaller house, condo, or apartment can be an excellent choice. These options can be easier to navigate, less costly, and require less maintenance. This is especially the case in Toronto, for instance, where there are so many options to choose from. Another advantage is the fact that residential movers in Toronto will always be at your disposal and help you while you are helping your seniors move.

Plan the move carefully

Planning the move involves creating a structured timeline to streamline the process. Begin by setting a definitive moving date, which will serve as a benchmark for all subsequent planning. Next, establish a packing schedule. You might want to start packing non-essential items a few weeks prior to the move. As the moving date approaches, pack essential items, keeping in mind to leave out necessary things for the last few days at the old residence and the first few at the new one. Helping seniors move requires even more detailed planning than preparing for your own relocation.

A woman holding a senior's hand
Show your senior parents or granparents emotional support

Simultaneously, research and hire a reliable moving company experienced with senior relocations. Try to book them a few weeks in advance to ensure availability. Ensure the movers are aware of the exact move date and the extent of the job. This might include any special handling requirements for belongings. If your parents or grandparents live anywhere near the GTA area, it is advisable to hire a moving company that offers different moving services Toronto. This organized approach helps ensure a smooth transition, reducing the potential stress and confusion associated with moving.

Downsizing with family

If your senior family member is moving into a senior living community, they likely won’t need a lot of the stuff they own anymore. Especially, furniture. They might be able to bring something like a smaller bedside table if they would like to, but they will likely have everything they need there. Therefore, hiring furniture movers Toronto would be helpful since you will have to relocate their furniture to a storage unit or somewhere else. You should involve your whole family in this process. Allow your senior member to tell stories about their items and gift you some of them if they would like. Encourage them to keep the memories, but not clutter. Keep in mind that downsizing your senior’s possessions doesn’t mean getting rid of things they love, it just means coming down to just those things that are useful or meaningful.

A senior women holding her grandchild's hand before the move
When helping seniors move, it is important to involve the whole family.

When it comes to packing, utmost care and attention should be given to ensure the safety of items. Utilize proper packing supplies Toronto, or materials from any other local moving company, depending on where in Canada the senior members of your family live. These include sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, and tape. It’s beneficial to categorize items room-wise or based on their nature, packing similar items together. Once packed, boxes should be clearly labeled, indicating the contents and the room they belong to, which will significantly ease the unpacking process. In circumstances where the task seems overwhelming, hiring professional packers could be a worthwhile consideration. These professionals have the experience and equipment to efficiently pack items of all sizes and fragility, providing additional peace of mind.

Mind their mental health

Helping seniors move means understanding their emotions as well. Moving is tough for any senior citizen. If your family member is attached to their current home, they can even be heartbroken about it. Many seniors experience Relocation Stress Syndrome, and you have to be prepared if this happens to them. Relocation Stress Syndrome can manifest in depression, anxiety, and confusion even. If you think that your senior family member is at risk of experiencing this syndrome, make sure that they don’t feel lonely in the moving process. As well as later on. Visit them as often as you can and send them letters or e-mails regularly.

Essential items

We suggest that on their moving day, you stay with them a little longer. Help them pack and unpack. Always talk to them with an uplifting voice. And try to get them excited about meeting new people and getting to play games and talk to many interesting individuals every day. Make sure to pack them an essential bag of everything they will need for the first few days, just until they get used to the new space and order. The essentials bag should include clothes, medicine, and toiletries. Do not forget toilet paper as well. Make their bed when you arrive and place clean sheets. This will also help them understand you are always there for them, even if they are about to levae alone, or in a senior senior facility.

A woman labeling a box
Help the seniors decide what to take to their new home

Moving can be a positive experience for seniors

Helping seniors move to someone else’s place, a smaller condo, or a senior facility center and trusting someone else to take care of them is very hard. But it is important to prepare and do thorough research in order to do it right. Evaluate your situation very carefully. Look for the amenities and support you may require. Consider taking advantage of specialized resources to ease the process like moving companies specialized in senior moving services. A specialized and insured professionals like Downtown Toronto movers can help you tremendously with the move. Once you have decided that the move is the best possible choice, do everything in your power to make it a positive experience for them.

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Love and Harsharan were Amazing. They showed up when they said, got right to work and didn't go over the time allotted. They were gentle with everything and very well mannered. 100% recommend. Thank you guys for making this move easy for us

- Marsha Widmeyer

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