Helping seniors move: a brief guide

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    Having an older family member move away is difficult for many reasons. Personally, I have a very fond connection with my grandparents and I visit them often even though they too opted for a more peaceful life in the suburbs many years ago. I am very happy that they can still care for themselves on their own, but it is not the case for many. Having to relocate your elderly loved ones to a senior living community is a very emotional experience. Therefore, we have designed this brief 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.

    A senior holding his grandchild
    It can be very hard to separate from our beloved grandparents.

    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. 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.

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

    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 wanted to move with a different company, but they want local movers Toronto, then let them have local movers Toronto.

    1. 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. Some of the most important factors you should look into when choosing their new home are:

    • level of care 
    • activities 
    • dining programs 
    • location

    2. 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.

    3. Mind their mental health

    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.

    4. 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 remember and get used to the new space and where everything is placed. It should include clothes, medicine, and toiletries. Do not forget toilet paper as well. Make their bed when you arrive and place clean sheets.

    Helping seniors move to 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 company like Professional Mover Canada 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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    - Harry E. Underwood

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