senior care facility moving portland or

10 Tips for Moving Your Senior Parent Safely and Successfully

Matty Byloos Life Transitions 6 Comments

When Your Loved One Is Ready to Move to an Elder Care Facility

Whether you are planning to move your senior parent from one assisted living situation to another, or from their home into their first assisted living situation, moving comes with a host of attendant stressors, sacrifices, and obstacles. And often, if there are health issues related to your loved one, moving can be twice as difficult. Here are ten tips to help you move your senior parent safely and successfully, managing their emotions during the transition, as well as your own.

1 – Start the Process as Early as Possible

If you have time to prepare for the move, then always be sure to use it. Many of us feel a sense of urgency once the decision has been made to move our senior parent(s). If safety is an issue, act on that sense of urgency. But if you have time to carefully plan and ease all parties involved into the idea and process of moving, it’s generally best to take advantage of it.

2 – Be Kind and Respectful But Firm During the Culling Process

Most moves necessitate a culling of objects and household items; this is especially so of the transition from family home to assisted living. This culling process can be extremely challenging and fraught with emotional pitfalls. After all, each and every object in the home may be infused with symbolic emotional power.
Try to remain kind and respectful as you help your parent decide which of their things to keep, which to redistribute to family and friends, and which to donate to charity.

3 – Get as Many Friends and Family Members Involved as Possible

Moving Mom or Dad can be extremely stressful, so be sure to get all the help you can. It will help you to maintain your sanity, and provide a positive influence for your parent, surrounding them with the support of friends and family. Watch out for baggage though; this is not the time for airing of grievances or unpacking old disputes. If they can’t bring support and love to the move without everything else, it’s best for those family members or long-time friends to stay at home.

4 – Manage Your Feelings and Stress First

You may feel compelled to manage your parent’s grief, stress, and anger first, before your own. This is a mistake. You can’t help anyone else to cope with difficult feelings unless you’ve had the time and energy to take care of yourself first.

5 – Take the Move of Your Loved One Step by Step

Take the packing and culling portions of the move as slowly as the situation will allow. If possible, cull and pack one room at a time, beginning with the least emotionally impacting area of the house, and working up to the more difficult ones.

senior care facility moving portland or

6 – Set a Firm Date Well in Advance

Setting a solid move date well in advance can help some senior parents prepare mentally and emotionally for the big day. This can help you keep resistance to a minimum.

7 – Hire Professionals to Handle the Heavy Lifting

On the day of the big move, your focus should be on your parent and their transition to an elder care facility, and not on the logistics of moving furniture and heavy boxes.

8 – Consider Removing Yourself and Your Senior Parent

Consider making the move day a vacation day away from the move itself. Take your parent to visit friends and family, or out for a favorite activity while the majority of the move is taking place. Be careful not to spend too much time away though, this could make the transition unnecessarily abrupt for some seniors.

9 – Stay Upbeat, Kind, and Positive During Unpacking

The move doesn’t end once the boxes have been taken off the truck. Try to stay upbeat and kind during the unpacking and settling and make the transition happen in phases whenever possible.

10 – Encourage Easing Into the New Surroundings Over Time

Check in more frequently than you normally would with your senior parent in the weeks that follow the move. Encourage them to ease into their new surroundings and try to find the positive aspects generated by the move.

It Won’t Be Easy, But Moving a Senior Into Elder Care Can Be Safe and Successful

Remember, no one is perfect – and the older we get, the more set in our ways we become. This applies to both you and your senior parent, and times can be trying when you’re attempting a move to a new facility. Try to manage your emotions around the move and strategize and plan for the best move possible. Take it step by step, and you will be able to move your senior loved one safely and successfully.


Comments 6

  1. Great article. I agree that having as many friends and family members available to help would help lower the stress level. I can see why this would also help your parent feel more comfortable. Any kind of change is hard. I would imagine that moving from a house you’ve lived in for 40+ years would be really hard.

  2. I really like your tip to manage your own feelings and stress first before helping your loved one get situated in a senior care situation. I remember when my grandfather needed to be put in a senior care center my mother and her sisters had a hard time, but once they came to terms with things and got over their own stress and hurt they were more able to help my grandfather and his caregivers in a more effective way. I also appreciate what you said about taking the move to a senior care center step by step, a little bit a time.

  3. Thank you for all these great tips for helping your loved ones move. One thing that really stood out to me is that you say to give yourself time to prepare for the move. It would be nice to make sure that they know that they will have time to make decisions and remember what’s going on.

  4. My mother has dementia, and we will be moving her to an assisted care facility here shortly. These tips to help her make the move and have the best transition possible will really be helpful. I think, as you mentioned, that it’s important to start the process early so it is not a rushed thing and we can provide the love and support needed at the same time. We will definitely try to remember these tips for the moving process! Thanks for sharing!

  5. These are some great tips for moving parents to a facility. My dad has gotten too old to really take care of himself, so we are looking at this now. I like how you said to be kind and respectful, but firm when moving them out. My dad will need that, since he is sort of a pack rat.

  6. This is clearing a tough subject for anyone who is being forced to deal with this subject to talk about. This topic can be
    just as hard for the family member trying to help as for the elderly family members. I really appreciate how you wrote this article to flow easy
    and help make the process simple by outlining the basic steps to help people get started. Thanks! please keep up the good content.

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