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4 Steps to Alleviate the Stress of Moving an Elderly Parent Out of Their Home

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There comes a time when an aging loved one is no longer able to care for themselves. In this case, it’s common for family members to move their loved one out of their own home and into an alternate living situation, like a senior care facility.

Before the moving process can take place, it’s important for everyone to be on the same page from the start.

To alleviate the stress of relocating your loved one, take into consideration these steps.

1. Have a Conversation

Having a conversation with an aging loved one about alternate living arrangements can be a tricky task, especially if he or she isn’t open to the idea. They may be apprehensive about moving out of their home because they view it as a loss of freedom. But, it doesn’t have to be.

Allow your loved one to express his or her thoughts and feelings about the situation. This is an emotional decision, so be sure to involve everyone. It may also be helpful to involve your loved one’s doctor or physician, as they know the level of care required.

>>>Related Resource: Are you considering moving an aging loved one into your own home instead of a senior care facility? Here are 4 tips to help you make the transition as smooth as possible

2. Decide on Living Arrangements

Another important step in the moving process is deciding where your loved one will live.

Depending on your loved one’s health, there are many senior care living options that offer a high degree of independence, while providing help when needed. For instance:

  • Assisted living provides a high degree of independence with minimum supervision.
  • Nursing homes provide a high level of medical assistance and round-the-clock care.
  • Hospice or palliative care provide pain control and symptom management should your loved one be facing a terminal illness.

Once you’ve come to an agreement on the type of care, the next step is determining the facility that will best fit your loved one’s needs. You can do most of the legwork yourself by researching options and visiting facilities, but make sure to discuss the pros and cons of each and work together toward a decision.

When determining where your loved one will reside, factor in your family’s budget. Your parents or grandparents’ insurance may be accepted at certain facilities, so be sure to ask what is and isn’t covered.

>>>Related Resource: Explore additional senior living options in this resource.

3. Sort Through Belongings

Once you’ve arrived on a decision, it’s now time to enlist the help of family and friends to sort through belongings. If you’re putting your loved one’s house up for sale, you’ll need to begin by organizing items he or she would like to keep, donate, recycle and discard.

Do not rush through this step. Honor the emotional attachment your loved one has to his or her belongings, and give them enough time to reminisce as you go through old keepsakes.

It’s important for your loved one to feel comfortable in their new home, so remember to set aside items he or she would like to take with them, like old photo albums, hand-sewn blankets and more.

After the packing is complete, you’ll need to have a plan for moving day. Keep in mind there are professionals available to help if needed, including moving companies and cleaning crews.

4. Help Your Loved One Get Settled In

Once the move is complete, you’ll want to help your loved one get settled. Taking the following actions can help them feel safe and secure in their new surroundings:

  • Personalizing his or her room.
  • Introducing yourself to residents and doctors.
  • Familiarizing yourself with the facility.
  • Joining them for lunch or dinner.
  • Attending a social event like a game night.

If the facility encourages family visits, make sure to spend time with them—whether it’s catching up, reading a book or taking a walk—your loved one will appreciate a familiar face. Your presence may also encourage them to become more a more active and social resident within the facility.

How Preplanning Can Save Time, Money and Worry

As your loved one gets settled into their new home, consider taking the next step by discussing preplanning. Preplanning allows your loved one to document his or her final wishes in writing for you and your family to carry out. Not to mention, the services your loved one chooses are locked in at today’s rates to save you and your family from rising funeral costs. For more information on the benefits of preplanning, download the Seniors’ Guide to Funeral Arrangements to learn how preplanning can save your family time, money and worry.

Download our preplanning guide


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