Downsizing is common for elderly homeowners, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy thing to do. Moving home is daunting for just about anyone, and it typically only gets tougher with age.
If you have a loved one who is preparing to move home, showing them support and helping them make the difficult transition will relieve a lot of stress and worry. In this article, we’re looking at some of the key things to consider when planning a relocation for an elderly relative or friend.
Reasons for the move
- There are many reasons for moving home later in life, including:
- Moving closer to family
- Changing medical requirements
- Reduced mobility
- To be closer to care / support services
- A smaller space is more manageable for day-to-day life
Leaving an established home is a difficult adjustment. It can be a long road, but providing continuous support and reassurance to your loved ones will help to allay any fears or uncertainty along the way. A large part of that is to keep in mind the reasons for the move in the first place; having that end goal in view will make the transition much smoother.
Have a clearout
When downsizing, decluttering becomes even more important. You’ll likely come across belongings that are too precious to throw or give away, but may be difficult to find space for in a smaller home. To ease the burden, try to find a permanent place for them with relatives or close, trusted friends. It’s far easier to let important items go if your loved one has assurance that they’ll be well cared for. Conversely, try to donate as much as you can – clothes, furniture and knick-knacks – instead of just throwing them away. Again, this makes the process easier for the one having to make the often painful decision of letting things go.
Helping an elderly relative to declutter their home can be an emotional experience; coming across long-forgotten photos, heirlooms and keepsakes can stir up old memories, so don’t fret too much about spending some time reminiscing. It might be even be helpful to put sentimental items aside and dedicate some time to properly looking through them after the clearout is finished.
Take your time, enlist help
Rushing a move is a bad idea at the best of times; if you’re trying to help an older person complete a move, taking it slow is the best way to go. In the early stages, helping them to adjust is the main priority. Listen to their concerns and talk to them when they’re having any trouble. Once you move to the packing/clearout stage, don’t try to get it all done in one go.
Enlist other family members, neighbours, or friends to help, delegating tasks to lighten the load. Different parties need to be notified of a house move, including banks, GPs and utility companies, quotes need to be collected from different moving firms, and paperwork needs to be filled out. Coming together to tackle each part of the move makes it much less stressful and easier to digest.
Helping an older relative to move home should involve a lot of communication. At the end of the day, it’s their move so be careful not to take control and make every decision for them. If any concerns crop up, put yourself in their shoes and have a discussion.
First-time buyers can find a house move exhilarating, for older homeowners it might be less so. Minimise frustration through constant communication. Received a quote from moving company? Consult and ask their opinion before expressing your own. It sounds simple, but it’s something that can easily be forgotten during the commotion of a move. This change will have a major impact on the person in question, so be respectful of this at all times to ensure it all goes smoothly.
Use a removals company
The physical act of moving takes its toll. You can save a huge amount of hassle for you and your older relative or friend by trusting a removals company to handle the labour for you. Using professional skills and packing materials ensures that fragile or valuable belongings are kept safe and sound, and while the movers are busy packing and loading possessions, you can spend some time doing something much more relaxing with your loved one.
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® treats every move with complete professional care. We offer a tailored service to every client, making sure that each and every item is packed, transported and unpacked without any fuss. We carry out moves of all sizes across the country, and our friendly team of movers are on hand to help you through the entire removals process with ease. To find out more, contact us today.