Making moving easy for seniors

Moving is stressful for anyone but it can be particularly trying for seniors or the elderly. Often, a move involves some major changes, which could include downsizing. Sometimes this may mean makings difficult decisions such as having to give away treasured belongings, selling  or throwing out items.

At KOPWA, we have moving on our minds as we prepare to relocate our residents to new, state of the art facility. We are all looking forward to being in the new location but there are some tasks to do beforehand.

A big part of moving is preparing for it. Here are some tips on helping to prepare elderly residents to move:

Be prepared

Being well ahead of schedule will make the process of relocating so much less stressful.

Book plenty of time to do a cleanout and create a ‘traffic light’ system to sort out all belongings. The ‘traffic light’ system is organising things into categories to be thrown away, for permanent keeps, and for keeping if there is room for them.

Decluttering experts recommend sorting things into categories. For example, look at all jackets and decide which ones can go. Then move onto shoes, ornaments, jewellery, books etcetera. Doing it this way can make it easier than going through things shelf by shelf or drawer by drawer. 

When you are trying to make moving easier for a senior or elderly relative, you don’t have to make every decision straight away. Sometimes thinking about an item for a while can make it easier to say goodbye (to the item). 

You can try the Marie Kondo philosophy, which preaches that when you reach a treasured item that has definitely served its purpose, you should take a moment to ‘thank it’, ‘honour it’ and let it go. This minimises those guilty feelings that arise when it is time to throw something away.

Some questions to ask include:

  • When did you last use this?
  • How long has it been since you thought about it?
  • Does it work the way it used to?
  • Would someone else benefit from having it?
  • Will you really miss it if it is gone?

Another technique recommended by declutterers is to treasure photos instead of objects. For example, instead of keeping 15 things belonging to a departed loved one, display a photo of them and just one of their belongings on a shelf. You could also take photos of special items that are past their used-by date and keep the photos in a memories box to save space.

Sometimes, it can help by engaging a professional declutterer. An external individual will approach the situation without the involvement of emotions. Hiring someone like this for a few hours can diffuse any family tension and get more done in less time. They can walk you through the ‘letting go’ process and make decisions easier. 

Know your environment

Being aware of how much room will be available at the next location can help with a move.

For example, knowing the number of available drawers and cupboards for storage use or the space in bathroom cabinets and wall space for hanging pictures? When you know how much you will have to work with, it will be easier to know what to pack.

Sometimes it may be an opportune moment to buy new furnishings and decor. Help your loved one prepare to relocate by talking with them about the decor they would like, including rugs, artworks, bedspreads and cushions.

KOPWA’s preparation process

The residents at KOPWA are advised to prepare and consider decluttering where appropriate. The process of packing items will be undertaken by professionals to help ease the stress of the move.

Families can help to support their loved ones, our residents, by mentally preparing them in envisioning their new living environment. The new facility will have cupboards and plenty of storage for the residents’ belongings.

At KOPWA, we provide residential and packaged care services. In 2021, many of our residents will be relocated to a brand-new facility, and we look forward to welcoming new residents to our ‘family’.

To find out more, contact KOPWA today.