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Advice for Moving Seniors

You are not alone. Nationwide, over 100,000 seniors are considering downsizing or moving into an assisted living or retirement community this year. Moving especially for seniors can be an extremely stressful time and they will need all the help they can get, from family and friends.

Once the decision to move has been made, it is important to start planning the move as soon as possible.  Start by deciding if you will use professional movers or doing the move yourself. Professional movers are often the best choice as they have the needed skills and equipment to do it quickly and efficiently. Many movers also have “move planners” that are well versed in dealing with the many elements of a senior move.

When choosing a moving company, invite them to the home; ask about their experience working with seniors, and their planning, scheduling and insurance coverage. Ask about additional services like de-cluttering, packing and unpacking and storage options. Make sure to get references and check them, and secure a written no obligation quote.

If you plan to make the move yourself, carefully consider the amount of time it will take to pack properly, make the physical move and unpack, as well as the cost of packing materials and truck rental. Many assisted living facilities have staff members that can help you move in, but check to see if this service is available.

Deciding What to Move:Assisted Living in Jacksonville - Advice for Moving Seniors

As you or your loved one is moving to a smaller location you will need to determine what items will make the move. And what items can be given to family and friends, donated to non-profits, sold or recycled. This can be an extremely emotional task for many seniors, as they may dread the loss of memories and cherished belongings. Be positive and reassuring, letting them know that anything they really care about will make the move. But, remember the first rule of downsizing is, “if you don’t use it, don’t move it!”

Try to get a floor plan with room dimensions of the new location to help you decide what furniture will fit in the new home. It’s important to move cherished items, a favorite chair, small table, comfortable bedroom furnishings, photos, and artwork and hobby supplies. Try to decorate the new home in a similar style to the one they are moving from. But always be aware of personal safety and mobility issues. Eliminate trip hazards like small rugs and ensure clear pathways around the home or apartment.

Packing and Unpacking:

Seniors should be involved as much as physically possible in the packing and unpacking process. Do not however let them be responsible for the entire process or do any of the heavy lifting.

If you are not using the packing and unpacking services of a professional moving company, you will want to make sure you have the proper supplies to do the job properly. You will need new packing boxes, packing paper, packing tape, bubble wrap, box labels, a razor knife, screwdriver and plyers. Go room by room and start by packing the easy things first. Label each box as to its contents and the room it will be moving to.  Always pack the heavy items at the bottom of the box, use adequate wrapping and padding before adding items on top. Fragile items should be individually wrapped, with bubble wrap, providing adequate padding between the items and the layers. You should pad all furniture corners, covering the item in the truck with furniture blankets.

On Moving Day:

If possible, do not allow your senior loved one to be part of the moving day activities. Moving day can be dangerous, with boxes and loose paper creating trip and slip hazard everywhere. So arrange for your loved one to spend the first part of moving day with friend or family. It can however be a good idea to include them in the unpacking and decorating process of their new home if possible. This will allow them to feel that they took an active part in the moving process and will make them much happier in their newly decorated home and lifestyle.

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