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Moving seniors to a new residence can seem like a daunting job. This brochure from the American Healthcare Association on Moving into assisted living can be helpful. Photo by David Bailey MBE ©

4 Tips for Moving Seniors to a New Residence

1. Start as Soon as Possible

  • A 6 Week Plan – It’s suggested that you plan things out 6 weeks ahead or more if needed. Keep in mind that you will need to get all of the essential materials needed in order to move, along with the packing and moving itself.
  • Time is of the Essence – It’s very easy to underestimate the task ahead. Start as soon as possible so you can allow your senior loved one deal with the emotions and prepare and focus on all of the needs.

2. Finding Moving Help

We’ve all discovered that friends and family may have good intentions when offering help, but can often fall short of the needs.

  • Student Help – Talk to a local private school or college and ask if you can “hire” help; many high-schools require students to perform community hours and this could help them obtain their hours, while college students are often looking for a way to make a few extra dollars and still work around a busy schedule.
  • Moving Company – While it may seem overwhelming to face the figures of hiring full-time professional moving companies, it may prove to be the best case scenario at some point of the move. Moving seniors to a new residence can require a vast amount of man hours, time and muscle that just can’t be found any other way.

3. One Room at a Time

Focusing on one room at a time will keep things in perspective and eliminate being overwhelmed.

  • Which Room First? – We suggest starting small, with the room with the least possessions in it. The problem with starting big is that you may be pumped up to start but lose steam quickly; as opposed to starting with plenty of steam and getting a small, easier room finished faster and feeling more accomplished.
  • Sorting by Room – Depending upon the type of senior living situation you are going into, sorting your items by room may be helpful.

4. De-clutter

Reducing the amount of “things” that you have to move is going to be a big part of the process. Chances are many years of saving have led to a house filled with a variety of items. Sort – Begin with boxes or bins labeled:

  • Donate – If your parent or loved one is a part of the sorting process, giving them a sense that their items can serve a purpose in helping someone else in need may make it easier for them to give up.
  • Family/Others – Anything that goes to others should have a date to be picked up by or the contents will be moved into another box
  • Keep – These are items that will transfer over well into their new surroundings. Try to focus on words like “fresh start” or “new beginning” and how some of your items will look so nice in their new place.
  • Trash – You probably expect this to be the smallest pile but in the end it may end up being the biggest. Let your senior help make choices about what ends up being trash; but set limits such as “if it’s broken its garbage.”
  • Sell – While selling items may seem like a good idea; other than large furniture and high valued items, it’s rarely worth the amount of time and effort. If you’re really set on selling items, entertain the idea of selling the entire house contents to an auctioneer or buyer.

Senior Living Experts can help get you through the entire process of moving seniors to a new residence with expert guidance and knowledge.

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