Helping Elders Relocate

Dorian Martin Health Guide
  • Relocating senior citizens to new homes isn’t the easiest situation. Fortunately, my mother’s move ended up being non-existent since she quickly was recommended by medical staff for a nursing home due to her health conditions. However, this left the moving process to my 81-year-old father. It took over a year for him to organize his move, and the relocation probably wouldn’t have been accomplished in that time frame without the valuable help from a good friend (and former employee) of his.

    This weekend, I picked up a back copy of More magazine, which focuses on the issues of women after 40. The April 2006 issue featured a section on women who had reinvented their lives. One of these women had moved from working in health care to creating a company that specialized in helping senior citizens move. Upon doing a Google Search, I found that there were a few other companies around United States that specifically focus on helping senior citizens move. These companies help senior citizens prepare for their move and set up the new household. These moving companies also may prepare the new home (such as arranging for transportation, assembling custom closets, arranging for transportation of clients and pets, and transporting medical equipment) and provide other services. Some companies even provide services for seniors with dementia in that the movers arrange the new home in such a way as to match the layout of the previous one.
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    I’ve not used these company (and neither has anyone I’ve known), but I think the concept is wonderful. First of all, since families no longer live close to each other, it’s difficult to help parents (or other aging loved ones) think through all the issues that are involved with moving. And the distance often makes it difficult to oversee (or handle) packing the loved one’s things during one weekend (or week), since often you are dealing with heirlooms, etc. Plus, moving is emotional for the loved one, since it often means downsizing or moving to a retirement community.

    It has been two months since my father’s move, and I’m still prompting him on various things. For instance, I often need to remind him that he doesn’t have to use his cell phone to call my cell phone, since I’m now a local call. He still has boxes to go through, and says he has way too much of everything (but can’t find some things).

    Moving is stressful whenever it happens. However, I wish I had known about the existence of these types of moving companies so that I could have encouraged my father to utilize their services. It could have helped him make his move a lot faster – and helped him settle in sooner.

Published On: December 14, 2006