Moving homes under any circumstance can be stressful, but helping a senior family member transition from their home to assisted living comes with its own unique challenges. You want to follow their wishes and do what’s best for them, but you may face some logistical and emotional obstacles as you work together through this major change.
Eager to help your loved one’s transition into a Tulsa assisted living facility go smoothly? Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when packing and moving senior relatives.
Tip #1: Plan ahead
Moving an elderly relative from their home to assisted living can be a stressful process, and the transition will be much easier if you plan things ahead of time. Create a list and timeline for the major steps and confirm it with your loved one. Keep a running list of small tasks as you think of them and update your relative regularly on your progress.
Your to-do lists should include everything that needs to be done to prepare your loved one’s new home for habitation, when and how personal belongings should be moved or disposed of, what will happen on moving day, and how to prepare their old home for new occupants.
Tip #2: Sort belongings
Most elderly people must downsize when they move into assisted living. This can be a big project so start early and get organized.
To begin, sketch a scale model of their new home. Identify what belongings they want to keep and how those things will fit in their new space. Make lists of what is being kept, what can be given away, and what can be trashed. You may want to mark the most important items with where they are going so no one mistakenly takes them.
Remove excess items gradually over time, so you and your loved one are not too overwhelmed by the project. This is a great time to distribute family heirlooms while your relative can still share the stories behind them. You might also consider having a yard sale or donating gently used items to a charity or thrift store. Anything else can be thrown away.
Tip #3: Ask for help
Often one person or a few close family members find themselves responsible for moving an elderly relative, but you don’t have to do it all alone. Contact other family and friends to request help moving or assistance handling other tasks.
If acquaintances aren’t available to help, you can hire a moving company or even a senior move manager to assist you. Many charities and thrift stores also have pick-up services for large items— it can’t hurt to give them a call.
Tip #4: Be sensitive
The way you handle the emotions that inevitably surround this transition will affect how smoothly everything goes. Moving is a big change for anyone, but an elderly person will have strong ties to their home— particularly if they have lived there a long time. They may also struggle with feelings of embarrassment that they cannot live independently any longer.
The grief that comes with such a life change is completely natural. Be understanding and compassionate as you discuss difficult decisions and help them transition to their new home. It will help both of you to treat the move as an opportunity to share memories and reminisce together.
Tip #5: Visit in their new home
The first few months in a new place can be lonely. If possible, visit your loved one regularly while they adjust to their new home. You can help them arrange their new living space to suit their preferences.
You can also explore the facility, taking advantage of the amenities and activities there together so they get used to their new surroundings. Spending time with loved ones in their new home will help your relative feel more at ease and allow them to begin making new memories to cherish.
At The Parke, we understand that the transition from total independence to assisted living can be daunting for seniors and their families. That’s why we seek to give your loved one the right balance of assistance and independence they need to achieve their desired quality of life. Contact us today to schedule a free tour of our Tulsa assisted living facility and learn more about the personal care we provide.