Moving An Aging Parent
Moving an aging parent….you will know when the time has come. Perhaps your parent has…
- taken another fall – a serious one
- been told to stop driving
- become increasingly isolated since the death of a spouse
- started to complain about maintaining their current home
- begun to show signs of a failing memory
The reasons are endless for moving an aging parent. While no move is easy, this one can be especially challenging. We thought we’d share our best tips for moving an aging parent that we’ve learned in our many years of working in real estate.
Consider All Options
Is your mother or father still able to live independently? Do they need more assistance? There is a wide range of options for aging parents that are making a move — everything from independent to assisted living. Perhaps having a family member nearby is sufficient or your parent may be ready for some extra support at home. Be sure to have several open discussions about what the ideal situation would be for your parent AND the entire family. Which leads to our next point….
This move is very likely an extremely emotional experience for your parent. Leaving a home of many happy years and lots of memories is never easy. Additionally, your parent may be resistant to moving and perhaps feel like they are not in control of their lives. Be sure to listen closely to your parent’s wants, needs and concerns. Allow them choices throughout the process to provide some some sense of control.
Plan for the New Space
Once the new home is chosen, consider the space together. In all likelihood, the new place is significantly smaller than his or her current home. Work with your parent to decide what furniture will move to the new place and what can be donated or sold. Work with your parent on paring down their possessions so there is less to move or store, always being respectful of what they would like to keep (within reason, of course!).
Enlist Family Members
Moving an aging parent is NOT a one person job! You will need help with everything from decluttering, making improvements so the home can be listed and sold, to packing and moving your parent. Ask for help from your siblings, children, and extended family so you don’t burn out.
Consider Professional Help
Consider hiring a senior move manager (yes, there is such a thing!). The array services they provide is comprehensive and truly invaluable to an aging parent. They include:
- coordinating with realtors and moving companies
- helping to declutter and pack
- coordinating donations and/or estate sales
- overseeing the move itself
- performing a safety check of the new home
- completing change of address tasks
- helping to unpack and settle into the new space (hanging pictures, setting up beds, etc).
You can find a licensed senior move manager here.
The Bottom Line
Moving an aging parent is no easy feat. It can be an emotionally draining experience for all involved. Be sure to keep the lines of communication open and ask for help along the way. Remember the end goal of health and happiness for all.
If we can help you with such a move, please reach out. We have helped countless downsizers and adult children moving a parent. This is what we do every day and we’d be honored to help your family too.
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