Moving with elderly parents can be a bit of a trial if you’re not well-prepared. Even parents still in full control of their faculties may have difficulty with the excitement, activity, and other stressors involved in a family move. With that in mind, here are six things to consider when moving with elderly parents—account for these, and your move will be much, much less difficult for everyone!
1. Plenty of prep time.
Make sure you give your parents plenty of time to prepare for the big move, even if you plan to handle most of the physical packing and cleaning up yourself. By letting them pack their own things a little at a time over a long period, you give them the opportunity to make decisions about what to keep and what to toss. Rushing your parents through a move will only make everyone miserable during and after the experience, so don’t do it!
2. Minimizing stress.
This is one of those things to consider when moving regardless of extra factors. It’s important to always minimize the stress of a move. If your parents aren’t comfortable with the hustle and bustle involved in relocating—or you think they’re likely to grow upset at the sight of their home being uprooted around them—it’s smart to get them out of the house during preparations. A day out with the kids, a long lunch, or some other activity will keep their minds off the situation.
Anyone who needs medications on a regular basis should make this one of the things to consider when moving, but it’s especially important for elderly movers. Make sure you know where all necessary medications are, what’s involved in taking them, and where your parents will be getting more medications after the move. Failing to plan this out isn’t just a source of major stress, it’s dangerous.
4. Rest stops.
Sitting in a car doesn’t seem like a taxing activity, but after a while it wears you down! This problem is only exacerbated with an elderly parent along for the ride, so make sure you have rest stops, hotels, and other opportunities to get out of the car and have a real rest planned well in advance. Rest stops are also important as an opportunity to eat, take medications, and stretch without the stress involved in doing so in a car.
It’s fine for young people to cram themselves into an overstuffed back seat for a move, but putting elderly parents in that situation’s a recipe for misery. If you can’t comfortably seat your parents after loading up your vehicle, you shouldn’t force the issue; find them other, more comfortable transportation, or invest in a mover to carry your things for you. It’s simply not worth the stress, risks, or flared tempers you’re certain to face if you skimp on comfort.
6. Finding their things quickly.
Once you arrive, you want to be able to find your elderly parents’ things quickly. Make sure that you pack important items you’ll want quickly in easy-to-reach places. If you’re working with professional movers, this is a lot easier, as your parents’ things will already be settled in their room and waiting for them (assuming you packed wisely, without a ‘will it fit in this box?’ mindset).
Of course, these are just a few things to consider when moving with elderly parents, but they should give you insight into the types of problems you’re facing with the move. Plan thoroughly, account for everything, and don’t be afraid to utilize professional help!