planning-a-move-when-youre-elderlyMoving house is always a stressful experience – even if everything goes relatively smoothly, never underestimate just how emotionally and physically exhausting it can be. It goes without saying that the older you get, the more difficulties are involved.  If you are arranging a move for yourself, you will probably be reasonably confident in how well you can deal with the experience. However, if you are helping an older friend or relative to move home, perhaps even into sheltered or residential care accommodation, there is plenty of good advice on hand.

Here are some tips you should consider:

  • Downsize well in advance – if you are moving to a much smaller house or apartment, or into sheltered accommodation, you will need to consider what you need to get rid of beforehand. Large items which may be wanted by the family in future can be put into storage, and it might be a good time to calmly discuss what happens to more precious things either now or in the future. If the idea of having to accept yard sale prices to accommodate downsizing in a hurry is upsetting, storage is a good option to give everyone time to get used to the move.
  • Delegate – for those of you that are already dedicated list makers, you will know the joys being able to assign tasks that don’t directly need you to others. Moving house is definitely not a one person job; get friends and family to help with anything from booking the removal van to researching useful shops and businesses close to your new home (a great task to give to the grandchildren!). There are things that you will have to do yourself unless someone else has Power of Attorney for you, so save your energy for those!
  • Ask your removals company what they can offer – after all, they are the professionals. Look for a company that not only provides a packing service, but one that will help you unpack as well. Some firms will even offer furniture assembly services, and be able to give you expert advice on safe transport of valuable ornaments, paintings, and other items. This will cost a little more, of course, but it’s worth it to know that you won’t have to worry about who will help you unpack or put the wardrobe together at the other end.
  • Moving day – make sure that you have a separate box and suitcase which you keep with you and which does not go in the removal van. This should hold your nightclothes, washbag, and a change of clothes for the following day, together with all essential medications, eyeglasses (and spares), and important papers such as medical forms, bank documents, and any paperwork to do with the move itself. In the box should be your kettle, tea, coffee, powdered milk, a mug and place setting with cutlery, and a meal that doesn’t need refrigerating, such as canned soup or a jar of hot dogs. There is nothing worse than getting to your new home and not being able to prepare a light snack!

Here’s hoping that your move goes smoothly, and that you settle in quickly. You’re never too old for a fresh start!