Is your aging family member about to move into a senior living community? That’s an exciting time but moving can be stressful and complicated if the situation gets away from you. These tips can help.
Keep Your Family Member Involved in Planning and Moving
It’s tempting, especially if your elderly family member is experiencing cognitive changes or other health issues, to just take over the entire planning process and move for her. That can bring a variety of problems, however. It’s really important to keep your senior involved in the planning process and the move itself, even if the choices she’s making are small ones.
Get Measurements for the Space Your Senior Is Moving Into
One planning tool that can help is to get the measurements for your senior’s rooms. That’s going to help both of you to determine what she can bring with her and what might fit in her new space. This can be especially helpful for your elderly family member if she’s certain that she can take all of her belongings with her.
Prioritize the Most Important Items When Packing
If your elderly family member does need to downsize many of her belongings, it’s important to have a way to prioritize what goes and what stays. Talk with your aging family member about what she may want and need most often as she transitions to a senior living community. It might also be a good idea to limit what your senior actually moves in with at first, and then bring other items as she settles in a little more and determines what she really wants with her.
Try to Keep Things Looking as Similar as Possible When Unpacking
Unpacking might feel intimidating, too. One tip that can help quite a bit is to try to keep your senior’s new living space similar to her old one. Arranging the furniture in a similar way may help her to feel more comfortable and at home. Alternatively, she might decide that she wants to embrace an entirely new look to go with her new retirement community lifestyle.
Take Timeouts During the Moving Process
Moving is stressful, both for you and for your senior. It can help a great deal if you both make sure you’re taking timeouts as necessary to help you stay on an even keel. Taking time for snacks, meals, hydration, and emotional breaks can help to make the actual moving day a lot easier for everyone involved.
Give Your Senior Time to Adjust
After the move, your elderly family member might need some additional time to decompress and to adjust to her new living situation. She’ll be meeting new people and experiencing all sorts of new things. Talk to your elderly family member about what else you can do to help her make the most of this new experience and chapter in her life.
No matter why your elderly family member is choosing a senior living community, it helps to keep the move simple and easy on everyone involved.