Top Moving Tips for Seniors in Transition
Moving is never easy, but if you are struggling with physical or mental disabilities due to age, it can feel overwhelming. The following tips are intended to make your transition to an assisted living or senior living residence a little less stressful.
1. Where are all my important papers?
Before you begin sorting, packing and selecting, get all your paperwork in order. Create a small file box or briefcase with vital phone numbers, banking and investment information, and deed for the house. This box will not go in the moving van but will stay with you or your loved one while transitioning.
2. What furniture will I need in my new apartment or room?
While some senior living residences come fully furnished, many begin as an empty apartment, condo, or room. Outline your necessary pieces like a couch, dresser, bed, and side tables. Think of all the bits of furniture that make your life easier and then try to include them in your final moving list.
3. Do I have to leave my favorite collectibles behind?
It wouldn’t be your home without your shelf of baseballs, ceramic figurines, or collection of family photos. While there are some difficult decisions to be made, make sure that the pictures and small gifts that make you smile every day find a way into your boxes.
4. Do I have to sort through everything now?
In many cases, the decision to enter an assisted care facility happens in a hurry. The old house or apartment is overflowing with decades of papers, things to save, and closets of old clothes. If possible, it is best to move into the new digs and then work on preparing the house for sale or termination of the lease later. Lean on family or a senior relocation specialist to handle the heavy load of sorting the leftover possessions for gifting, donating, or disposal. Focus on your comfort and health first.
5. Will my bedroom furniture fit into the new space?
If your home has a king-sized bedroom set, it may not fit into the new place. Before moving, get a measured floor plan of the new location and position all the pieces you want in the diagram. Make sure that everything can fit through doors or narrow hallways. You may need to trade in the overstuffed couch for a pair of comfortable recliners. Now is maybe time to look into a functional bed with drawers under it, or one with temperature control or adjustable support level for your needs.
6. There are so many boxes, how do I find what I need the first night?
When you begin packing, make the “First to Open” (FTO) boxes and put them to the side. These boxes should include a clean change of clothes, pajamas, needed medications, toiletries, and bedding, including pillows. These items will be the last to go into the truck or go with you in the car. This FTO box contains everything you need for a good night’s sleep, even while the majority of your belongings remain unpacked.
7. Can I get to my doctor’s appointment next week?
Will you be changing how you get around town? Check with the new residence regarding transportation options. Are there regular busses or vans, or do you have to reserve a driver and car such as an Uber? Will physical assistance be needed? Line up your first few trips before you move in to help you get accustomed to how it all works.
8. Does the new place have a loading dock, elevator, or people to help?
If the new living complex is more like an apartment building, there are likely restrictions on when you can move your things in and out of the building. Ask about rolling dollies, cargo elevators, and even moving assistants to minimize disruption to the rest of the residents.
There are many small details associated with moving that do not change with your age or status in life. Rancho Family Aging Services will help minimize the drama and provide real support when working with one of our Senior Relocation Specialists. Give us a call here for more information.