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Tips for Helping an Elderly Person Move House

Moving house is difficult at any stage in life, but the challenges are even greater for the elderly. Packing boxes or creating a moving schedule are two things that we might find simple in our youth. For the elderly, these tasks can be almost impossible to complete alone.

An elderly person reading a newspaper

There are many reasons elderly people may want to move house. The most common reason is to downsize. Once your family has moved on, it can be difficult to maintain a large property on your own. Moving to a smaller property can bring back a feeling of control.

Some elderly people will choose to move after losing their partner. This can be an emotional upheaval and the surviving partner will need a lot of support from their friends and family.

And finally, elderly people might have to move into assisted living facilities due to their health. It’s often best to complete the move before it becomes necessary, which can be difficult for those who are unwilling to give up their independence.

If you are supporting an elderly person through a home move, there are a few things you will need to think about. Start with our moving checklist, but also think about the following things...

Reduce the clutter

Living in the same home for a long time can often lead to a build up of clutter. Make time to clear some of this clutter well in advance. Try to donate or recycle items where possible instead of throwing them away.

If there are some items they would rather not part with, you could consider hiring a self storage unit. This can be ideal if your relative wants to hold on to large pieces of furniture or other special items for their grandchildren.

Allow additional time

It’s easy to get frustrated with an elderly relative when progress is slower than you might like. Allow extra time for every task to ensure they have time to process the emotional aspect of moving house.

If you have raised your family in the same home, it can be difficult to let go of your sentimental attachment to a place. This can lead many elderly people to delay a house move. To avoid this, be supportive and allow things to move at their pace, not yours.

Create a moving checklist

If you are concerned about missing steps, create a checklist that you can work through with the elderly person. When helping someone move house, communication is key. By using a checklist system, everyone will be on the same page.

Moving later in life can leave you feeling out of control, but something as simple as a checklist helps to bring order to a chaotic situation.

Hire the right removals company

The right removals company will understand the added pressure of helping an elderly person move house.

At Man With A Van, we can help you to manage the move with ease. If required, we can allow more time for a move, or arrange to move items to multiple locations. For example, if you want to move one set of boxes to their new home and put the rest in storage, this can easily be arranged.

Create a support structure

Your elderly relative won’t just need help on the day of the move. They might need someone to stay with them the night before to keep things cheerful. They might need help settling in to their new home. They might even need help saying goodbye to their old home. Find out how you can best offer your support well in advance.

Go at their pace

You might want to get the move over and done with, but you need to allow the person moving house time to process. Go at their pace instead of trying to rush things along. Those with limited mobility might feel frustrated if they are rushed. And those with cognitive impairment could feel more stressed if they feel rushed. Give yourself plenty of time to complete the move and take everything at a relaxed pace.

Next steps…

If you are helping an elderly relative move house, the first step is to hire a moving company you can trust. Man With A Van has been helping people to relocate within the London area for the past 16 years. Trust our expertise and experience to make this experience less stressful for everyone involved.


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