As we get older, some things change in the relationship we have with our parents. It is a slow transition from them caring for us to us caring for them.
Although many older adults are independent and self-sufficient, our parents sometimes need a little extra help with challenging life tasks. They might have rented a U-Haul in the past when they needed to move, but today could be a different story.
If your parents need help with moving, the first step is to call a professional provider like Expo Movers. Once you have those logistics figured out, you can focus on these additional relocation tips.
How to Help Your Parents Move to a New Home
The first step of this process is to have patience with your parents. It’s not unusual for families to have lived in the same place for 30+ years! That’s a lifetime of memories, and it can feel like they are walking away from them.
The moving experience can bring a combination of grief and excitement. If your parents need time to vent or process, let them have those moments. It’ll make your relationship stronger.
1. Help with the sorting process.
Our parents have collected meaningful items over the years. It can be challenging to give anything away because of the memories associated with those belongings. If you can help with the sorting process, you’ll help them find items to give away or gently suggest some changes to the boxes they want to keep.
It’s often easier to give things away when they know a particular item is going to a trusted friend or family member.
2. Plan the transportation around your parents’ needs.
Most older adults cannot handle a long road trip without making extra stops or needing special assistance.
If your parents are healthy, you’ll want to plan a drive that includes multiple stops to let them stretch their legs. It might be easier to fly nonstop than be in a car, and some aging relatives might benefit from medical transit service if they have oxygen to transport.
3. Get a health care plan in place before moving.
Most older adults in the United States are on Medicare. Since it isn’t always easy to find a doctor who accepts new patients, you’ll want to help your parents get referrals, set appointments, and build relationships instead of sitting on a long waiting list. Don’t forget about conducting a medication review to transfer the prescriptions to a pharmacy close to the new home.
If your parents use an in-network system of doctors and medical providers, you’ll need to speak with their insurance provider to see what options are available near the new home.
4. Make the new place feel like home.
When our parents have their familiar possessions and arrangements available in their new home, the transition can have pleasurable moments. It might not be “home,” but it feels that way when everything seems the same.
One of the best steps you can take is to place the family photos on the wall in the same order they were at the previous location. Trinkets, throw pillows, blankets, and other items fit into the same category.
5. Keep the kitchen organized.
One of the biggest frustrations that older adults have with a new place is a rearranged kitchen. When you can’t find the tools needed to make something when you’re hungry, the emotions that start swirl range from disappointment to hatred. If you can’t replicate the previous setup, try to put everything in logical spots. It might help to label cabinets and drawers to make this transition step a little easier to manage.
6. Discuss the benefits of the new routine.
When our parents need to move from their home, it might be a relocation to a 55+ community, an assisted living facility, or something with more skilled care. If you are proactive about finding activities that will make them happy, the transition can be a lot smoother. Even if the only advantage is an amenity that they’ll enjoy, your help will make it feel less like the entire world is getting ripped away from them.
As a final step of the relocation process, it helps to re-create your parents’ routines. That might mean helping them find a golf course they like, a church to attend, or a new favorite restaurant to enjoy. It is never easy to move as an older adult, but it can be a more painless process to manage when taking these steps.