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Helping your mum and/or dad move?

Supporting an elderly person to make a move means much more than simply packing up boxes and calling in a moving company.

It is important to recognise and understand the physical, emotional and cognitive changes faced by an older adult and the impact this will have on their ability to participate in the process of moving.

Even a fit and well older adult will have less energy, will tire more easily and can become mentally fatigued more quickly than a younger person, or even compared to their former self.

Health conditions such as heart complaints, breathing difficulties or arthritis may be manageable on a day to day basis, but requires special attention and support during moving.
Memory loss or confusion may lead to extra stress as the person struggles to understand and cope with the upheaval in their environment.

Organising the Move
Allow significantly more time for the physical work needed in preparing for a move.

If at all possible, plan the clearing and packing in several smaller allotments of time rather than setting aside one period (a weekend) to achieve it all. This will allow the process of clearing and packing to be achieved calmly and positively without exhaustion, panic and frayed tempers all round.

If it is necessary to do it all in a short space of time, plan for frequent breaks. Keep your parent and yourself well hydrated and nourished. Most moves in later life will involve downsizing.

This may be a very welcome and positive change, for instance, moving from a large old house into a townhouse or retirement community, but will necessitate decluttering and disposing of collections, furniture and personal items.

Do not underestimate the emotional impact that clearing and sorting a lifetime's possessions will have: the process will involve rediscovering forgotten possessions, reliving memories that may be bitter-sweet and making dozens of decisions that will have permanent impact.

All will bring the reality of the pending move into sharp focus. Stay positive, look forward to the end goal of improved circumstances but take the time to treasure the memories and respect the trauma of letting go.

If you are out of region or too busy to tackle the challenge, give Over & Above Moving a call on 0800 22 88 24.