How to Make an Elderly Person Move the House
Moving to a new place can be overwhelming for elderly people. Though it is obvious to reason this with their deteriorating strength, there are some unnoticed aspects to it.
Elderly people at this stage of their lives have gone fragile both physically and emotionally. It is expected from them to resist any kind of change at this point. Their house is not just a building but a treasure of memories that they could find hard to let go of.
If you are helping an elderly family member/neighbor move the house, you should be taking care of certain things.
Following are some tips for you to take if you want to help an elderly person move the house.
Give Them Some Time
They might have spent their whole adulthood in the house they are moving from. Going through old pictures and belongings is likely to cause them nostalgia.
They might want to hold on to recollect the faint memories. You should try not to rush them here. Allow them to take their time.
Break the Move into Small Manageable Tasks
The process with elderly people has to be different. You do not want to stress them with the cumbersome packing altogether. Instead of making things hard for them to remember, you should break down the move into small manageable tasks.
Take them through one step at a time to ensure a smooth process. Create a checklist of the tasks for them and mark them done one by one. It indeed would give them a sense of achievement.
Help Them Declutter
The reason behind their move could be anything. Perhaps they want to move into a smaller home so that they can manage its cleaning and maintenance. In such a situation, they need to get rid of the unnecessary items lying in their big house.
Help them with the declutter process by suggesting whether to keep, donate, store, or throw away their stuff. However, be careful and don’t force your opinions onto them. Let them decide for themselves.
Let Them Make the Decisions
In any case, you should let an elderly person feel that they aren’t capable of doing things. You should rather let them handle all the important decision-making tasks about the move.
Ask them how they want things to be done and try to do it that way. This will give them a feeling of being In-charge and help in making their transition easier.
Pack a Separate Bag of Their Essentials
Keep their essentials in one place. Pack a separate bag for things like toiletries, cleaning supplies, medications, etc. Make sure to keep easy access to some spare changes of clothes as well.
Also, keep important papers like their medical reports and prescriptions handy.
Help Them Stay in Touch
Take a note of the important contact details for the mover. Make sure you relieve them by assuring about having noted the details of all their friends and relatives.
After the move, you can also help them arrange a housewarming party. This would help them connect with old friends and make some new.
Moving to a new place hits some emotional cords in elderly people. They might take more time than usual to adapt to the changes they undergo.
Try to empathize and be patient with them in the process. Ask them stories when they are stuck with some memory recall. Do not rush, rather try making them comfortable with the change.
Most important of all, help them settle at their new place by placing things as per their liking. You are trying to make the transition not feel like a transition here. And if you could do it all by introducing some fun, the memory will pleasantly last.