Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Today we have a guest blogger, Mike Longsdon. Mike has had personal experience helping his aging in-laws downsize and move. He learned a lot about the process and would like to share some of the things that he learned. If you would like to look for other helpful information on his website, you can find him here Elder Freedom. You can also reach him by email at mike@elderfreedom.net.

3 Ways to Reduce Stress When Helping Seniors Downsize and Move

Do you need to help a senior loved one downsize and move? It’s a potentially stressful task to take on all alone, but with the right help, you can make the process much easier for all involved. You need to think about the emotional and physical ways moving can impact you and your loved one, as well as the steps, like the ones below, you can take to mitigate these issues.

Research Financing Options for the New Home

To finance the purchase of a smaller home, many seniors use the money they make from selling their old house to secure a short-term mortgage, one that has a monthly payment that they can easily afford. As such, it’s important to do plenty of research about area mortgage rates before settling on a loan. Also, as PennyMac explains, veterans can qualify for a VA loan, which allows them to purchase a home with low interest rates and no down payment. Additionally, VA loans may offer additional benefits that government programs do not.

Consider Hiring People to Streamline the Process

Downsizing and moving homes for your senior loved one can be overwhelming. Many times, seniors have amassed a lot of possessions over the years, and sorting through things on your own can be impossible. You need a lot of patience and focus to make the multi-step process go smoothly, or you could think about hiring someone to help. Many seniors and family members opt to use senior move managers to take some of the stress out of downsizing, discarding, and relocating senior belongings. Having this third-party perspective can help reduce the likelihood of emotional tensions when it comes to letting go of unneeded things, and can also give you some extra help planning the rest of your loved one’s move.

Whether you use a move manager, you should definitely think about hiring professional movers to help with the actual move. Hiring move helpers takes the burden of moving heavy items and boxes off of you, and it also makes packing easier for seniors. However, be sure to research when the busiest moving times are and the best moving companies in your area.

Stay Safe When Packing and Moving Items on Your Own

Sometimes, hiring professional helpers just is not in the budget for seniors and their families. If you do need to lend a helping hand to your senior loved one, make sure you do so without risk of injury to yourself. Many people fail to research proper back positioning for lifting heavy objects, such as boxes and furniture, which can result in serious injuries. It’s important to maintain a straight back (no hunching over) when attempting to move or lift boxes, but also take your time in doing so. If something feels too heavy for you, it probably is.

Packing your seniors’ possessions can be emotionally stressful as well, especially if you are afraid of causing any damage. Head to a local home improvement store to pick up some packing supplies, like sturdy boxes, bubble wrap and tape, to get a good start on the task. Then, look online for some handy packing tips that can keep breakable and fragile items much safer during the move. Knowing how to safely pack and ship appliances, glass items. and TVs can prevent unnecessary stress for you and your senior.

Help Seniors With Alzheimer’s Adjust to the Move

For many seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, the need for a big move comes after the loss of a loved one. Addressing the grief seniors feel after a loss should be your primary focus before you begin the process of downsizing and moving. You can use these Alzheimer’s resources to help your loved one (and yourself) work through the complicated emotions and thoughts that bereavement with dementia can bring about.

If your loved one is moving to a new home, it is important to make sure that space will provide safety. The home must be free of objects that could present a danger for those with dementia and cognitive function problems. This includes household chemicals, sharp kitchen tools, and potentially dangerous electronics. Anything that could cause harm to the senior or others in the home should be kept locked in a secure location that is not accessible for the individual with Alzheimer’s. You should also think about whether a nursing home would be a better choice for your loved one to protect the health and safety of everyone.

Downsizing to a new home can be a painful process for seniors, especially following a loss. As a loved one, you can help your senior find peace with this important transition and take some stress out of the process for yourself as well.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

No comments: