Parenting

How to Plan, Prepare, and Move Your Elderly Loved One into a Senior Home Safely

4:06 AM



 One of the toughest things that an adult child has to do is move parents into a senior home. The process is not easy, as there are several steps to finding the perfect place, packing up mom and dad, and moving them safely. 


The convincing parent is a major challenge and calling Pegasus Senior Living is a good first step. Senior living experts can help you prepare for the conversation with your parents to make the move easier. After you have convinced your parents that moving to a senior home is good for them, these steps will make the move less stressful. 

1. Listen and talk.
You have two ears and one mouth for a purpose, as it’s doubly important to listen as it is to talk. So, when you have a chat with your parents about moving into a senior living centre, you should listen to their concerns even more than talking about it. If your parents have been living in their home for a long time, moving will involve grief and worry. If you don’t listen, you don't know how they are feeling. 

Understand that they will be worried about what will happen to their cherished belongings and what will happen to their home. Losing independence will be a major concern, so take the time to listen before you talk. It can’t hurt to write down what you hear, too. 

2. Organize and sort items.
After you’ve listened to their concerns, the time to organize and sort is next. Do not do this immediately, but don’t wait too long. The process of organizing and sorting is dependent on how much stuff your parents have. If they’ve got a lot, you should create a few different piles, like keep, sell, donate, and trash. Then, get busy sorting

Before organizing, you can ask your parents what their favorite items are. Be sure to set aside photographs and important papers as well as anything that has been passed down for generations. 

3. Measure for furniture.
There will be room for some furniture in the senior living centre, but you should measure to see what will fit and what won’t. Having favorite chairs or other special furniture items will make the small space feel like home. Take time to measure the room, the doorway, and the furniture that you would like to bring. Not everything will fit, but it doesn’t mean that you have to discard everything. Keeping mom’s favorite chair can be a nice addition to a room in your home. 

4. Pack the unused rooms. 
If your parents are ready to move into a senior living centre, they are probably not going to help you pack and move. So, when you’re ready to start packing, start in a room that they do not use. This will make the process easier for you and your parents because they won’t see you making many changes. However, if you start packing in a room that they use regularly, the change could be overwhelming. 

5. Get help from friends and family.
If it is overwhelming for you, get your friends and family to help. Once you get them to commit, create a plan where you have delegated tasks for everyone in advance. This way, you can stay busy getting work done rather than figuring out what everyone should do. You don’t want people constantly asking you what they should do because it takes away from your productivity. And, you do not want to make snap decisions. 

When asking friends and family to help, you will have to deal with the asking to keep things. To satisfy them, when you sort and organize, create a pile of things that you can give to people. Along with giving items to them, you should also be prepared to feed them on the day that everyone comes to help. 

6. Label boxes with destination space.
To make your life easier, when you pack boxes, label them with the place you want the boxes to go. This will make it easier for everyone, as they can see whether items go to the bedroom, kitchen, or living space in the senior living centre. Some might even go to your house or a storage unit. Write the destination and what is in the box and put it on several sides. 

7. Visit the senior living space.
As you are organizing the move, take time to visit the senior living space a few times. Bring your parents so they can see where they are moving and can begin to recognize people and places. Arrange a time for them to eat with the rest of the residents and bring them during activity time. If your parents like going to church, show them the chapel at the living centre. If they enjoy walking outside, take them out to explore the grounds. Make the experience enjoyable and as comfortable as possible. 


8. Plan a transitioning experience.
Transitioning to a new home is tough for everyone. Work with the representatives at the senior living centre to make the move comfortable for your parents and for you. Most centres have transition plans that you can use to make the move less stressful. Ask for help and use their experience and knowledge so your parents feel welcome in their new home. 

9. Plan the move.
Don’t just move and leave. Make a plan and stick with it. Whether you hire a company or your move on your own, pick a time of day that works for your parents’ schedule. They probably don’t have much going on, but you might have to work around medication schedules and nap schedules. Elderly adults benefit from routines, so loading the truck and emptying the truck should be done when it least affects the daily schedule. Then, explain the schedule to your parents so they know what to expect throughout the day. 

10.Decorate the door. 
As rooms or apartments all look the same at senior living facilities, you can help your parents adjust by decorating their door. This shouldn’t look like something you’d see in a college dormitory, instead, you should put a nice wreath or some photos or even a favorite candy dish outside of the room. Whatever items you place on the door or on a stand, be sure they are items that your parents will recognize. This will help them find their space and ease the transition. 

11.Separate personal necessities.
It is important that you have one box with all of the daily necessities like medications, a current book, and anything else that your parents use every day. This box should ride in your car and be emptied immediately. If your parents keep medication near the bathroom sink, you should put them in a similar place in the new apartment, too. If you let your parents put the items away, you should be sure to see where they put them in case they forget. Having the box of important things separated from everything else will keep your parents from becoming worried. 

12. Don’t visit for a few days after the move.
Even though you might want to visit regularly at first, you should not. Your parents will need to establish themselves in their new home and they shouldn’t rely on you to make them feel comfortable. If you want to know how everything is going, you can call the office. Think of it like sending your parents to school - you wouldn’t sit with your children as they go to school. They have to do this on their own. 

13. Allow parents to build a routine at their new home. 
Moving can be traumatic, especially for adults who have lived in the same space for many years. Their routine is most likely upended, so they will need to establish a new one. This is where the staff at the senior living centre can help. It is important that you let your parents get their new routine under control and they should do that with the help of the senior living centre staff. If you help too much, then the routine is based on you and you cannot be there all of the time. No matter how much your parents complain, they have to do this on their own. 

14. Recognize your own emotions and get help if needed.
Understand that you might have challenges as moving into a senior living centre means your parents are getting older. You might feel grief as they no longer live in the family home. If you need help, get help. Grief counseling is available all over the country. 

15. Maintain a shared calendar. 
If your parents rely on you for help with medication, doctor’s appointments, and other things, you should have a shared calendar. This can be challenging, as your parents probably won’t keep an online calendar. The calendar should include days that you will be out of town, so your parents know that you are not available. If possible, work with the staff at the senior living centre so everyone is on the same page. 




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