How to Help Your Elderly Parents Move

As parents age, traditional parent-child roles begin to reverse, often leaving parents and children unsettled and without a frame of reference. Elderly parents are confronted with an array of issues for which they may not be prepared. Adult children may experience concern, love and frustration as they try to navigate uncertain terrain. Gather information from trusted sources. Gain at least a passing knowledge of the issues aging parents and their adult children face. A parent’s transition from a vibrant mother or father who eased a child’s cares to an ailing and increasingly dependent person takes time to comprehend. Spend the time well.

There comes a time when your aged parents become too infirm to live independently anymore, even with all the assistance provided by the latest gadgets such as house cleaning vacuuming robots and stair lifts. Moving out of their home is a wrenching experience for them, as it signifies a loss of independence. Some may worry about losing their beloved pet. Others worry about what willhappen to their possessions. Make the transition as smooth as possible for them by handling the details.

Go back to the plans you made together earlier. Help them choose the best living situation. Depending on their health, that could be a smaller place with no stairs closer to you or another relative, or a nurse-staffed assisted-living community. If no stairs is not an option, stairlift information is available here.

Help them sort through their belongings. Deliver or mail items they want to give to relatives or friends; store anything they’re not sure about, pack up the rest (or hire a moving company) and have it sent to their new home.

Figure out if there’s a way for them to keep a beloved pet– animals provide valuable emotional support. Choose a new place or community that takes pets or bring the pet home with you if they’re moving nearby.

Honour this time of transition. As parents age, children and parents become aware that their time together is limited. Aside from the many practical and difficult issues confronting a family, parents and children are challenged to say words of love and comfort often so difficult to express. If a parent or child needs to forgive and/or be forgiven, this is the time to find that peace.

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