Many older adults embrace the changes that mark the different stages of life. This can include moving in with younger family members or downsizing to one of our convenient San Joaquin Valley homes. We’re diplomatically not assigning an age to an “older adult,” but perhaps you have one or more in your family or are part of that demographic yourself. For this segment of the population, moving can be particularly stressful, especially from an area that has been home for decades. The following are a few tips to minimize issues while upping the excitement that new digs can bring.
Nobody likes to lose control by being told what to do. Bring your parents into the home-buying and moving process as soon as you can, so they become willing team members. Ask their opinion on potential housing choices, what bedroom in the new homes they would prefer, or what decor to put in their new room. Ask them what it was like when they moved into their first home and whether they have any advice.
Commemorate The Past
That antique Victorian sofa may look like an over-sized piece of dated furniture to you. But to your mom, it may have been the first item she and her late husband bought as a married couple or the site of many family gatherings. It represents the family’s past, which she understandably may not want to discard.
If you intend on bringing such large mementos into your new home, be sure to take careful measurements of the room they’re going into and the doors they’re going through to ensure that they fit. It may help you to explain to mom that you can’t take this treasured heirloom due to size restrictions.
Whatever you do, don’t rent a storage unit to keep stuff that doesn’t fit because you’ll be racking up fees and postponing the inevitable disposition of things you can no longer use. Treasured possessions can be gifted to family members who have the space to store them or sold at auction. Stuff that doesn’t sell can always be given to a thrift shop that brings money in to mom’s favorite charity.
Pictures can serve an important purpose. Take pictures of your elderly aunt’s room, the inside of closets and drawers, and the arrangement of bric-a-brac on the wall. When you unpack her room, use those pictures to duplicate how items were previously sorted and organized. Your aunt is more likely to feel that she is moving from one familiar place to another, rather to some place foreign.
If you want more tips on moving or want to take an older loved one on a tour or our model homes, please contact us.