Knowing how to help a senior moving from one living situation to another can be difficult for a lot of reasons. The person may be leaving a home they’ve held for years — possibly their entire life — that is filled with memories and personal items, for example. They also might be relocating for reasons beyond their control, such as an unexpected illness or mobility issue.
Whatever the situation, the process of a senior moving themselves, and their possessions, can involve a lot of stressful steps. There’s a lot to do to prepare for such a transition, and that can be overwhelming. This senior moving guide aims to make that process a lot simpler for everyone involved.
How to Help a Senior Moving Onto a New Living Phase
The easiest way to handle any large task is to break it down into smaller, bite-sized chunks. Helping a senior relocate to a new living situation is no different! Handle the process in three easy-to-follow phases, and you’ll have your loved one settled into their new home in no time.
The Planning Phase Checklist
Every big change or event requires planning before you execute it. Sit down with your senior loved one to discuss everything you’ll need to get done. This list will help:
1. Decide Where You’re Moving
This may seem obvious, but some seniors only know that they cannot continue to live in the place they do by themselves. Take time to discuss the appropriate living situation, whether that is downsizing to a smaller home or apartment, moving in with family, or opting for a retirement or senior living community.
2. Understand How Much Space You’ll Have
Regardless of where the senior moving will end up, they will likely have less space for their belongings. Downsizing requires parting with items they no longer need, a process that requires understanding how much space they’ll have.
3. Make a List of Where Your Items Will Go
Once you know how much space the senior will have, you can easily determine how much they’ll have to part with and where they would like those items to go. Make a list of the recipients, including deep storage, family members, charities, Goodwill, items to be listed for sale, and items to be thrown away.
4. List Out Utilities and Other Items That Will Need to Be Updated
You’ll likely see this list grow throughout the process, but you’ll need to reach out to a real estate professional to sell the property, turn off any utilities accounts listed in the senior’s name, and change addresses on long-term accounts. Most of these cannot be done until the senior has officially left the home or acquired a new address, but it’s good to making the list early so nothing gets overlooked.
Undertaking a planning phase will help the rest of the process go off without a hitch. Working with a team of senior relocation experts who know exactly what to plan (and how to execute it) can make a difference, too, as they will think of many things that you likely will not.
The Preparation Phase Checklist
Planning to help a senior moving on to a new life phase is the first part, but preparing for that move is just as important. During this phase, you will:
- Assist the senior in sorting their belongings, some to keep and bring with them, others to pass down to family and friends, and others to part with entirely.
- Help them determine which items they would like to donate or sell.
- Set up deep storage if the senior needs it for family heirlooms and other items that will not fit in their new dwelling.
- Ensure the senior can account for important documents for health, finances, personal, legal, and more. The last thing you want is for these items to accidentally get thrown away!
- Pack up the items they are bringing with them.
- Set up the senior’s new accommodations by helping them become residents at a senior living or retirement community, ensuring they have a space with a family member or friend, or assisting them with procuring a new apartment.
- Contact a real estate agent about listing the senior’s current property.
- Contract moving services or rentals to help them move their items to the new location when move-in day comes.
The preparation phase can be time consuming. You’re helping a senior sort through an entire lifetime of treasured
possessions and accumulated items, after all! It’s a lengthy process, but one that must be undertaken. If you’re worried you might not have the time or knowledge to assist with it, consider reaching out to a senior relocation expert.
The Moving Phase Checklist
Moving day for a senior may be filled with mixed emotions. They will be saying goodbye to a life chapter, likely apprehensive about what’s coming next, and maybe anxious to get settled in. The good news is that if you’ve undertaken the above preparations, the process should be relatively smooth!
On moving day, the moving service (or you, if you’re handling it yourself) will deliver the senior’s belongings to their new home. You’ll want to help the moving senior unpack and get settled in to ensure they feel comfortable and at home. Utilities should shut off after the home’s sale closes, and other bills and accounts should be updated to reflect the senior’s new address. Be sure to place their important documents in a secure, but easily accessible place!
The process of moving is difficult for anyone, but especially for senior citizens sifting through an entire lifetime worth the memories, possessions, and accumulated objects. Following the steps above will help make that transition to their new chapter as smooth as possible.
How Experts Keep the Senior Moving Process Smooth
If you’re helping a senior move to the next phase of their lives in a new home or facility, the last thing you want is to forget a key step. The experts at Third Coast Move Managers are here to take that stress off your plate, assisting with everything from paring down possessions to setting up the move process and prepping the senior’s current home for the real estate market. We take on all the things that would normally be outside your comfort zone, leaving you to spend quality time with your senior loved one instead.
Contact our team today to get more information about how the Third Coast Move Mangers team can help your senior with the moving process.