Thursday, 14 April 2016

How You can Help Seniors Pack and Move

Do you need to help a senior citizen shift to a retirement community or downsize to a smaller house? Take enough care, and consider the following tips when helping them pack and move.

Be kind

When helping seniors sort and pack their things, make sure you keep in mind that their weak eyesight can lead to poor housekeeping practices. Instead of judging or commenting even in a jocular way, be kind and considerate, offer to clean and give all assistance required.

Sort their things out

Like the rest of us, seniors have a tendency to accumulate and hold on to things they do not really need. Make sure you’re gentle with them, extremely patient and respectful, when you try to get rid of any of their possessions.

Go through their stuff, item by item, sitting by their side, and sort the things. There will be some possessions that have sentimental value, but can’t be accommodated in the new place.

Suggest to them to gift a sibling or a grandchild such items, so that those things remain within the family. It may normally be easier for them to give away those possessions to a trustworthy home.

Take pictures of their old house before packing

Before packing, take pictures of their old house with the prized possessions in place. Arrange those possessions in a similar fashion in their new house, closely mimicking locations. If possible, be as meticulous as you can, in placing the family pictures or arranging bedroom furniture or the chest of drawers. This will make the seniors feel at home in the new house.

Get beforehand the room layout of the new place

Make sure you know how much space the new house has. If the seniors are your parents shifting from a four bedroom house to a studio apartment, plan together with them what items would and wouldn’t fit in the new apartment. Also, offer to accept and keep those items that have some sentimental value in your house or in the family.

Start small

Do not start packing and moving in a hurry. Take out time for the sake of your parents; talk with them about the move and the changes that go with it. Plan to complete first small tasks such as the desk drawers, or a few containers from the attic.

Make them spend just about 15 to 20 minutes  a day, and prepare a ‘to-do’ list together with them; taking baby steps will help them get used to the whole idea of shifting to another place.

Hire outside help

As is the experience in general, it will be easier for you and your parents to hire professional help, particularly when it comes to packing and sorting. There are professional packers who specialize in moving seniors; they offer excellent services ensuring safety and comfort, winning the confidence and trust of seniors  and their families.

Give your parents enough time to accept the psychological and the physical uprooting from their decades-old setting. After a certain age, it becomes extremely hard to leave for good a familiar environment. The more supportive you are, the easier it will be for them to make the move.