Relocating a senior family member can be difficult whether they are moving to your home, downsizing to a senior apartment, or transitioning to an assisted living facility. Many senior citizens may have lived in the same home for decades, so the thought of downsizing can be daunting. They’ll be leaving behind many treasured memories and belongings!
While every move is emotional, it’s important to keep this in mind especially when moving senior citizens. That’s why it’s so important to hire trusted and reliable NJ movers (like us!) as they will treat every item with care. While professional movers can help you and your loved ones get their belongings from one place to another, it’s up to you to make the rest of the move as easy as possible. Below is a guide on how to move senior citizens.
Involve the Senior Citizen When Planning
Every person should have a say in where they move, and senior citizens are no exception. In fact, it’s even more important for them as they have lived decades independently. While it might be more time-consuming, make sure to get them involved from start to finish. This might mean presenting several options for them, especially when it comes to senior apartments or assisted living centers. Give them time to ask questions and voice their concerns before making any final decisions. If you plan on having them move in with you, make sure your whole family agrees to the proposal.
In addition to finding the perfect place, you should also plan moving transportation based on their needs. Many older adults cannot withstand long road trips without assistance or stops. Others might require full-service medical transport. To make the move as comfortable as possible for everyone involved, do the following:
- If you are going to drive them yourself, make sure to add extra time to your trip. A drive that should take six hours could be extended due to multiple stops. Make sure to ask your loved one often if they need to stop and stretch their legs or use the restroom.
- Many senior citizens often have mobility issues. If your loved one has these issues, make sure to rent a van with enough space for their mobility equipment and get a ramp so that they can easily go in and out of the vehicle. If they are flying, book non-stop flights and contact the airline in advance for boarding assistance.
- If your aging relative needs extra help, you can hire senior-focused transportation companies that offer non-emergency medical transit for people in wheelchairs and/or require oxygen tanks. Some companies even provide transport with beds and registered nurses.
Help Them Organize and Declutter
If your aging relative has lived in one place for decades, chances are they have accumulated a lot of stuff. Unfortunately, wherever they move they will have to downsize as their living area will decrease significantly. For many, this is an emotional process as many items will have sentimental value. It’s important to be patient and allow them to mourn. You might also need to help them go through their belongings and figure out what they no longer use and how to get rid of the items. Maybe that means selling them or donating them to goodwill. If it’s a keepsake you can suggest giving it to family members since that way they might be able to see it when they visit. Start small. Instead of jumping into the living room or bedroom, start with a room with low sentimental value like a bathroom or guest room suite. This will help ease them into the moving process and give them a sense of accomplishment.
As emotionally charged as downsizing can be for senior citizens, it can also be very rewarding. It gives them the opportunity to pass on their possessions and remove physical and emotional baggage. It’s an exciting new step on their next journey in life! Depending on how much they have, this step can take months so make sure you allot enough time. Otherwise, you’ll end up rushing and potentially throwing away some truly cherished items.
If your elderly relative cannot part with certain items that won’t fit in their new living situation, you can store it. Many NJ moving companies offer affordable and secure storage options. You should research storage companies near you and find the one that best suits your needs.
Prepare for Moving Day
The best way to prevent a stressful moving experience is to prepare, that goes for senior citizens and non-senior citizens alike. If you are helping your relative move, you should ask them and yourself the following questions:
- Are there professional movers nearby that specialize in moving senior citizens?
- Will you need help packing and unpacking boxes?
- Can you drive your relative to their new home or will you need transportation?
- Do you have a bag full of essentials packed away so that your relative does not have to dig through boxes the day of the move?
- Is your relative feeling overwhelmed?
It can be easy to forget steps when packing as there’s a lot to do! To make sure the move goes as smoothly as possible, you should create a checklist of everything you need to do before, during, and after the move. Chat with your relative and/or their aide to make sure you don’t miss anything important such as packing their medicine in their essentials bag.
During the packing phase, you should encourage your relative or maybe another family member to keep an inventory of all the belongings. This provides peace of mind for the senior citizen and also allows you to double check that everything gets delivered. When packing, make sure that you organize the belongings into boxes labeled by room. This way when you unpack, you know exactly where the items should go.
Hire a Professional NJ Movers
If you can’t be with your loved one during the move, find expert help. If you live in New Jersey, there are several New Jersey movers who can help in relocating, downsizing, and organizing senior citizens. While it might cost you more money, it can save you a lot of time and can even make it less emotional for your relatives as a third party can make the tough decisions, which can reduce tension and fighting among family. Just make sure to hire a reputable company as there are plenty of scammers who are more than willing to fleece you out of money. It’s important to do your research, ask questions, and make sure the company you hire has the appropriate licenses and insurance.
Once you’ve found a good moving company, determine whether you need full-service or or the standard moving service. The latter means that you will have to pack and organize everything yourself so really ask yourself if you have enough time to dedicate to this task.
Welcome Them to Their New Home
Come moving day, it’s time to finally welcome your loved one to their new home. Don’t be worried if they seem nervous or anxious as it takes everyone a few days to get used to their surroundings. If they are moving in with you or living in a senior apartment, establish a daily routine in their new space and make sure they know where everything is. Feel free to introduce them to your neighbors and maybe hit up a couple community centers as many have activities for seniors. You can also take them around to places that they will need to visit such as the grocery store, pharmacy, doctor’s office, etc.
For those moving into an assisted care living center, the aides will handle all of the legwork. With that said, you should set up a consistent schedule for when you visit. This way they have something to look forward to every week or month.
In order to have a successful move, it’s important to involve your loved one in every aspect of the move. As with everyone, senior citizens want to have a measure of control over their life, especially when it comes to their living situation. By bringing them into the fold, you are showing them that you respect their opinions and concerns.
Of course, it’s also important to hire a good moving company that can handle the added requirements of moving senior citizens. Whether you live in New Jersey or anywhere else in the tri-state region, we can help guide you through the process and make it easy and stress-free. As a premiere New Jersey moving company, we offer full-service moving including packing, moving, and unpacking and we do so with care and attention.
Will you move a senior citizen to an assisted living facility?
Yes! Reach out to the facility first to confirm and see if they require a certificate of insurance (COI) or other information.
How much does your full-service cost?
We charge based on a flat hourly rate so it will depend on how much needs to be packed. You can reach out to us for a quote.
Are there items you don’t pack?
Yes, we generally do not pack plants, oxygen bottles, combustible items, and other potentially dangerous items.