As parents get older and into their senior years, there may come a time where it makes sense for them to downsize and move to a new home. Whether that means moving your parents into a retirement community or into assisted living, depends on their specific situation. Either way, you will need to make sure certain steps are taken to make their transition as smooth as possible. It isn’t always easy to convince your elderly parents to move from their home, but if you wait for the day when your parents come to you and say they can’t take care of their home any longer, you may find yourself having to handle a number of stressful tasks all at once.
In most cases, it is best to make preparations for downsizing your elderly parents over a period of a few months. This not only makes the transition easier on everyone, including yourself, it will allow you to take the time to set up your parents in the best possible living situation for the future. To help you manage this process, take a look at the step-by-step checklist detailed below.
Two Months Prior to Move Checklist
At this time you should start to set some realistic timeline expectations for yourself and your parents as you prepare for the move. Make sure everyone is on the same page in terms of the new location, what items will be moved and what will be sold or donated, and when exactly the move will be taking place. Once the initial discussions are finalized, you can start the moving process by doing the following:
• Identify items that will be sold or donated and begin to move these items out of the house.
• Call some reliable movers in the area for price estimates. Once you have selected a mover, book the moving day.
• Gather moving supplies such as boxes, packing material, scissors, tape and markers.
• Gather all necessary legal, financial and medical records and place them in a secure location that is easily accessible to you and your parents.
One Month Prior to Move Checklist
At this point you can start to plan how you want to pack everything, and what items will be packed first. You should also handle any administrative tasks like change of address and cancelling insurance policies that no longer apply to your parents’ living situation. By doing this well in advance of the move, you’ll be able to focus solely on the logistics of the move itself without stressing over things like outstanding paperwork.
• Pack infrequently used items such as seasonal decorations and out of season clothing
• If your parents have pets, you should make arrangements for them at this point concerning where they will be during and after the move.
• Cancel insurance policies on the old house
• Make proper arrangements for the upcoming change of address with the post office.
Two Weeks Prior to Move Checklist
With the move coming soon, you can start to make your final preparations to leave the old house, while making initial arrangements at the new location.
• Notify utility companies of the upcoming move and cancel any services or existing accounts attached to the old property.
• Arrange for new utility services at the new location such as TV, phone and internet.
One Week Prior to Move Checklist
At this point you should be ready to start the main packing. You should also take the time to contact any other necessary people or institutions about the move.
• Contact friends, delivery services for newspapers, banks and other concerned parties about the change of address.
• Prepare a small kit of clothing, medicine and other special items that may be required before and during the move.
• Finish the main packing.
Moving Day Checklist
This can be an emotional experience for any senior downsizing to a new home, which is why it is important to keep your own stress levels as well as your parents’ down to a minimum during the move. You should have all the necessary contact, payment and relocation info at hand for when you need it, and ensure all belongings and furniture is labelled so the movers know exactly where it needs to be put in the new location.
• Keep phone numbers handy for movers, utility companies and any administration at the new location.
• Keep relevant info on the old home sale on hand.
• Prepare payment method for movers (cash/cheque/credit card).
• Be on hand at new location to guide movers and identify where certain items should go.
• Keep valuable items such as jewellery safely in your possession.
• Arrange for parents to stay with a sibling or family member once the move is underway.
• Save receipts for any possible tax deductions.
After Moving Day Checklist
Once the main move has taken place, you can now bring your parents to their new home with everything set up. Once they’re there, take the time to set everything up the way they would like to make the more comfortable in their new living space.
• Tour the new home together.
• Walk your parents through the new phone, TV or internet operations
• Drive around the neighbourhood together to help them get to know the area.
• Confirm everything is set up to their specifications in terms of comfort and accessibility.
• If there is staff on location, take time to learn their names and advise them of any special needs your parents may require.
• Remain available via phone to address any of your parents concerns over the first few weeks.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to save yourself along with your parents a great deal of stress during what can be a difficult moving process. For other questions about moving your elderly parents, feel free to contact the moving experts at Accent Movers today.