Moving for Two: How to Move When You’re a Caregiver
Moving for one is difficult, let alone moving for two. Some caregivers find themselves orchestrating moves for seniors when they need to transfer to a smaller home or retirement community.
If you’re getting ready to help move a loved one or a senior you’ve been caring for to a new home or facility, here are some tips you’ll find helpful:
- Hire a Senior Move Manager: Senior Move Managers will help through the entire move process, especially the emotional aspects, like dealing with downsizing decisions about what to keep, sell or give away. They manage the move itself, hold yard sales, help with getting settled in the new residence, and other moving-related tasks that often get overlooked. The National Association of Senior Move Managers is a great resource to learn more about these professionals.
- Find a reputable mover: Doing your homework is imperative. Find a mover with experience moving seniors. Check online reviews, contact the Better Business Bureau, ask for referrals, and make sure that the mover comes to the home to give an in-person estimate.
- Start early: Weeks before the move, begin packing and sorting through belongings. If you have a senior move manager to help, all the better. Make separate piles for items you’ll keep, sell, or give away. If the senior feels up to it, enlist their help with this task. After all, they are the ones moving, and it will make them feel included.
- Stay organized: Staying organized on moving day reduces stress that could cause unnecessary health problems. Make sure the senior follows his or her normal routine, so they still feel in control of the situation.
- Prioritize making the new space feel like home: Try to have the house as close to unpacked as possible when the senior arrives. This means making sure that the bedroom and bathroom are fully set up—have their favorite quilt and chair on display. Arrange furniture the same way it was, and hang pictures in similar spots, too. All of these efforts will help make the senior feel at home, faster.
Moving can be overwhelming, especially if the move is part of a lifestyle transition. As caregiver, you look out for physical well-being, but you’re a companion, too. Remain attentive in the weeks leading up to and following the move. Look for any signs of physical or emotional distress or any onset of depression, as these could be signs of Relocation Stress Syndrome.
The main takeaway for caregivers guiding seniors through moves is to surround the senior with familiarity and support. These simple steps will help eliminate the major stresses of moving and will hasten the senior’s adjustment.
This post is provided by Transit Systems Inc, one of the nation’s top long distance moving companies.