How To Help Your Aging Parent Move

How To Help Your Aging Parent Move

More than one million American seniors live in a nursing home, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If your aging parent needs nursing care, take a look at what you need to know about this major move.

Where Should Your Parent Move?

There are several different living arrangement options for your aging parent. The one you choose depends on several factors, such as their physical capabilities, overall health, medication needs, mobility needs, social expectations, and finances.

The primary types of care arrangements seniors choose include:

  • Nursing homes. There are well over 15,000 nursing home residences in America, according to the CDC. This option provides the highest level of care and is ideal for seniors who need 24-7 help.
  • Assisted living. This alternative gives the senior care, but the ability to live somewhat independently.
  • Independent living. Retirement communities with independent living options give the aging senior a safe environment, plenty of social activities, and other amenities. But they typically don’t offer nursing care or help with daily activities.
  • Family member’s home. Some seniors choose to move in with an adult child or other adult family member. This arrangement provides a home environment with the benefit of someone to help with activities of daily life (such as cooking, cleaning, dressing, shopping, or bathing).

After your parent chooses the right living arrangement for their needs, it’s time to start the actual moving process. Read on for more information on how to move your parent to their new home.

What Furniture Should Your Parent Bring with Them?

The answer to this question depends on where your parent chooses to move and what their personal preferences are. Many senior care options, such as nursing homes and assisted living communities, come prefurnished. This means your parent won’t need to move their furniture.

But some assisted living and independent living arrangements require the resident to furnish the space themselves. Before you fill a moving truck with every couch, table, and bookshelf from your parent’s old home, consider:

  • The size of the new space. In most cases, the senior will need to downsize. This means they’ll need to give away, sell, or throw away old or unused furniture.
  • The furniture’s condition. Old, worn, or damaged furniture doesn’t need to move with your parent. Only bring usable items that are free of tears, chips, cracks, or other issues.
  • The new home’s décor. Does your parent want new furniture to match their new apartment or residence? If the old items don’t coordinate with the new space, they won’t need to move them.

If your parent has mobility or self-care issues, you may need to buy new assistive furniture. This could include a motorized lifting bed or armchair, a shower chair, or other adaptive items.

What Else Should Your Parent Bring with Them?

Whether your parent moves an entire home of furniture or nothing, they may need (or want) to bring other items. These could include:

  • Décor accents. Paintings, small sculptures, lamps, knick-knacks, and other decorative items can dress up your parent’s new space and remind them of their former home. Carefully pack these items for the move or use specialized packing materials/boxes made for art or breakables.
  • Personal belongings. This category includes anything from clothes to old letters and mementos. Pack these items in plastic bins to keep moisture out during the moving process.
  • Kitchenware. If your parent needs to bring their own dishware, glasses, or silverware, pack these carefully and label the boxes/bins as fragile.

If your parent can’t take everything they want to keep, arrange a storage solution (such as a self-storage rental) before the move. Book the movers for two separate jobs-one for the to-take items and another for the to-store selections.

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