Moving an elderly family member often involves more issues and complexities than a normal move. There are issues with sensitive belongings, carefully removing items and storage no longer needed, planning for safety needs and more. As a result, a removal of parents or older people often requires lots of planning and preparation ahead of time, especially if the old residents have been in their current home for decades, which is often the case.
Below are our top tips for preparing an older or senior family member for a house move.
1. Preparing them for the move
Unlike a regular move, an elderly home removal often requires quite a bit of preparation and notice. This is primarily so that the event is not a shock or a surprise to the people being moved. Many can be emotionally invested in their location and surroundings, becoming quite upset if surprised at the last second that a move is occurring. It can be seen as a fear of losing connection with familiar surroundings, losing the closeness of friends, or losing independence. All of these fears can manifest together or one at a time. So it’s important to explain a move and the reasons very early on. Once the date arrives, it won’t be a surprise and the event will be far easier for the people affected to adjust to.
2. Packing and getting ready for the relocation
It’s important to use the early advance time to go through and get the early packing out of the way. Often, the packing involves going through many of the personal property items and figuring out what should be taken, what can be given away and what is rubbish that needs to be moved to a bin outside.
Need moving boxes? We can help with the supply of everything you need to pack and protect your precious possessions.
The advance period is also a good opportunity to clean out areas where many things have just been stored out of the way. The dust, wiping and cleaning can be taken care of so that it doesn’t need to be addressed at the last second when the removal is almost over.
Of course, this early time should also be split with managing all the removal logistics as well. This includes sorting out all the paperwork, arranging for moving dates, any needs for temporary storage, working with real estate agents or landlords, and any legal matters that need finalization.
Ironically, it’s the decision about what to keep and pack versus what to dispose of that will likely be the bigger challenge to address. Many items have significant memory value, although they may seem like useless clutter to the outsider. Working with senior residents often requires having a sensitivity to attachments and handling the situation carefully.
Unable to pack? We offer a professional house packing service to make your move easy and stress-free »
3. Tips for moving day
It’s important for a resident to see and understand how the new location is laid out. The best way to do this is to visit the location prior, if possible, and see how it’s laid out. This includes examining the surrounding area and identifying where important places such as the supermarket, the cleaners, the post office, bank and so on are located. Understanding the local geography in a new location can often put apprehension at bay and bring peace of mind.
The visit ahead of a move also allows a person to determine what needs to be cleaned or prepared for a new residence. It’s far harder to do the same cleaning, painting or preparation once property is actually removed and relocated into the new home.
Safety features also take time to put in place to make sure senior residents won’t have more risks than necessary. Whether it be modifications to the bathroom area or rails for steps and ramps for entry or exit, all of these features need to be planned, built, installed and tested to make sure they work properly. Again, these features can be installed far more easily before a person has moved into a property than when everything is already relocated.
Keep in mind the time of year and weather as well. A warm season move is far more advisable, when possible, then trying to move during colder weather. Seniors often want to be involved, and being exposed outside can trigger health issues in the cold. These are not the sort of things the average person has to worry about when moving house but many times with seniors the smallest of issues can trigger unforeseen problems.
4. Anticipate extra costs
Because of the fact that moving a senior will often require additional services, preparation, and issues, the budget for the move should anticipate these extra costs. Where a typical move costs X dollars by estimate, it’s probably a save approach to add in another 30 percent at least to address miscellaneous fees and expenses. Anticipating these costs in the planning will avoid a budget crunch at the end or paying through the nose for a last minute service call that wasn’t set by appointment earlier on.
Another cost factor that can appear during the move is the identification of changes needed in the new location. Regardless of previous visits and planning, some extra things will inevitably pop up when people finally get settled in. These expenses should be anticipated as well. They could be safety-related or just comfort issues. Either way, it’s an added cost.
5. Picking a qualified moving company with elderly house move experience
When working with your removalist, it’s important to pick a moving company that understands the specific needs of older people being relocated and how it can affect them emotionally. The average furniture removal can be performed by most moving companies adequately. However, they won’t often provide the special attention needed with older residents. This special attention can often make the difference in a successful relocation versus a long-remembered disaster and point of contention.
There are lot of sensitivities to consider when moving senior residents with a moving house service. Often, even the best service won’t address all the issues involved in helping a senior relocate. This requires a good friend or a family member to help, especially with the planning and logistics details. Relocation companies like Man and His Van, who are experienced and familiar with what senior clients need, can often suggest tasks and issues to take care of, but the client needs to anticipate taking care of these matters ahead of time.
The highly experienced Sydney removalist team at Man and His Van Removals can assist with all aspects of your house move. Check out our removalist prices here. To obtain an obligation free removalist quote, call us direct on 02-99073300, send us an email or complete our online enquiry form.
- Moving house checklist »
- Packing tips that save money on removalists costs »
- Tips for moving with kids »
- Tips for moving with pets »
- Declutter tips when moving house »