Moving elderly parents to a new place can be a rough event for everyone involved, especially if you’re living far away or need to coordinate your work schedule so you can be available. Here are some tips for making sure a move with your elderly parent goes smoothly:
Help Parents Make the Best Decisions for Themselves
A parent who knows it’s in his/her best interest to move might still be very resistant to it. Making decisions about moving elderly parents without their buy-in will only cause stress on your relationship. Instead, lay out the facts for your parents so they can reach the right conclusions for themsevles.
Discuss things like their medical history and any recent health issues as well as their financial status. When thinking about moving, ask if they can realistically afford to stay in their present home and still have a high quality of life.
Talk Openly About the Changes Involved With a Move
Change of any kind can bring about feelings of loss, especially a move. Life-change expert Russell Friedman said in a recent Denver Post article that “even when you’re moving for positive reasons — a better job, a better house, better schools — moving is a major grief event.”
Talk to your parents about the things they’ve loved best about their place or what they’ll miss. This will help them say goodbye and help you prepare for whatever the next step is in their life. As their caregiver, you’ll be able to prepare for the next steps you’ll need to take care of if you talk openly about the changes involved with moving.
Sharing Your Space
Multi-generational homes are on the rise, with 4.6 million parents living with their adult children, according to one recent estimate. To make a transition like this easier for both of you, the AARP suggests a discussion of what a typical week might look like. Things like “meals, chores, TV use, daytime appointments, religious services,” and even pets should be considered.
If your parent isn’t moving in with you but leaving their home for something closer to you, talk about how great it will be to have them near. Figure out a few fun and positive things that they can look forward to when they get to their new space.
If they’re going into a facility of some sort, talk about the fact that there will be more people around so they’ll have less occasion to feel lonely. Work closely with nursing home staff so you can feel you’re an active participant of your parent’s care. Moving eldery parents can be challenging, but keeping communication open and honest with your parents can help ease this process for everyone.