Moving to a new home can be intimidating for anyone, but it can be particularly challenging for seniors. As they get older, seniors may face physical limitations and emotional attachments to their current home, making the thought of moving overwhelming. However, sometimes a move becomes necessary for health reasons, downsizing, or to be closer to family.
According to America’s Health Rankings, the number of people aged 65 and over is projected to reach 85.7 million by 2050, accounting for 22% of the country’s population.
With this demographic shift, the number of seniors who’ll need homes will increase. Thus, it’s essential to provide seniors with tips and strategies to make their move as smooth and stress-free as possible. In this blog, we discuss some tips to help seniors move to a new home and make the transition as easy as possible.
Decluttering makes packing and moving easier and can also help seniors feel less overwhelmed in their new space. Donating or selling items no longer needed or wanted is recommended, which can also provide extra cash for the move. Downsizing can be an emotional process, but it is important to remind seniors that it is an opportunity to start fresh and simplify their life. Encourage them to keep sentimental items and focus on the memories associated with those items rather than keeping every single possession.
2. Start Early
According to RetireGuide, Utah is the second-best state to retire in, and in that case, some seniors can consider spending their enjoying their golden years at a retirement community in Utah.
Retirement communities often have waiting lists, so it’s important to start researching and touring communities as soon as possible. That will allow you and your loved one to find a living space that best fits their needs and preferences and to reserve a spot before the waiting list fills up.
Starting early also gives seniors enough time to plan and prepare for their move, such as consulting a real estate agent to find a new home and packing their belongings. By breaking down the move into smaller, manageable tasks and tackling them one at a time, seniors can reduce the risk of feeling overwhelmed or burnt out.
3. Hire a Reliable Moving Company
When choosing a moving company, looking for one with experience with senior moves and who understands the unique needs of older adults is essential. A reputable moving company will provide an estimate upfront and explain all costs associated. They will also have insurance to cover any damages during the move. A professional moving company can also offer packing and unpacking services, which can be especially helpful for seniors who may have difficulty with these tasks. Researching moving companies and reading reviews from previous clients is important to ensure the company is trustworthy and reliable.
4. Label Boxes
Clear and visible labels on each box make the moving process easier. It helps movers know where to place the boxes in the new home, simplifying the unpacking process. It’s crucial to label boxes using a pen or label maker; various colors might be used for each space. Making a comprehensive list of every box and what’s inside is also beneficial. Seniors can discover particular things they’re looking for more quickly by labeling boxes, particularly if they need to retrieve their stuff right away.
5. Pack a First-Night Box
The first-night box is especially important for seniors with specific medication or mobility needs. A first-night box should include items such as a change of clothes, toiletries, medicine, a phone charger, and any important documents or keys. Seniors should consider adding things that bring them comfort and familiarity, such as a favorite blanket or a photo album. Having these items on hand will make the first night in a new home more comfortable and less stressful.
6. Consider Accessibility
If the new home has stairs, narrow hallways, or other obstacles, planning for any necessary modifications or accommodations can help make the transition smoother. It may include adding grab bars in the bathroom, widening doorways for wheelchair accessibility, or installing ramps for easier access to the home.
It’s also important to consider the new home’s location and its proximity to amenities like grocery stores, medical facilities, and public transportation. Choosing a home near these resources can make it easier for seniors to get around and maintain independence. Working with a professional senior move manager or a certified aging-in-place specialist can also help identify and address potential accessibility issues.
7. Update Important Documents
Make sure to update your senior loved one’s driver’s license, health insurance, voter registration, and any other documents with their current address listed. To avoid problems with mail delivery or using crucial services, you must modify these documents as quickly as possible.
It is essential to have a copy of the updated address on hand because certain governmental institutions may need it to update these papers. Seniors should also change the mailing addresses on their accounts, such as bank accounts, credit cards, and savings accounts. That can help make it relatively easy for them to access their accounts or obtain essential financial data.
8. Address Their Concerns
Encourage seniors to talk about their feelings and fears and validate their emotions. Be patient and listen attentively to their concerns. Discuss the benefits of the new home, such as access to amenities and a vibrant community, and highlight opportunities for socializing and meeting new people. Offer support and reassurance throughout the moving process, and remind them that the move can be a positive and exciting new chapter in their lives.
9. Maintain Their Routines
Seniors may have established routines that help them feel secure and provide a sense of structure and familiarity. These routines include anything from daily exercise to regular social activities, hobbies, or even just a cup of coffee in a favorite chair. When moving to a new home, try to help them maintain these routines as much as possible. That way, seniors can feel more at home in their new space, even as they adjust to new surroundings.
Moving can be much smoother and more manageable with proper planning, communication, and support. If you’re helping your senior family member or neighbor move to a new home, keep the tips mentioned above in mind, and you can make this transition a positive one.