Moving to a new home is always a huge undertaking but when it is an elderly person moving to an assisted living community, it can be quite nerve-racking and emotional, especially if they have lived in their old home for several years. To help them make the transition, there are several things you can do to help them and smooth their progression.
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Decluttering takes time and energy and if your loved one is feeling emotional, they might not want to do it. The trick is to do some decluttering well before the moving day and work your way through it little and often. If you usually go over for a coffee once a week, then you could suggest you help them with one room per week. That way it is not too overwhelming, and it will help to simplify the moving process when the time comes.
Hold a Sale
Anything your loved one wants to get rid of could be worth selling. One person’s junk is another person’s treasure and retro items are very popular now. Hold a garage sale or an online auction for the things your loved one doesn’t want. That way, although they might feel emotional about getting rid of a lot of their things, at least they know that it went to a good home and will be used again. They may be pleased that they have some more money to put in the bank before they go to their new home.
Help Them Decide What to Do with Valuables
It may not be appropriate for them to take heirlooms or expensive jewelry to their assisted living community so help them decide what to do with these items. They may want to give them away to friends and family before they leave or put their things into storage for the time being. Help them decide what to do for the best and arrange it for them.
Measure Their New Accommodation
Your loved one will want to take some of their belongings with them so measure the space they will be living in before you start helping them pack. That way they will know what they can take with them and how many of their things will fit into their new home. They may be upset if they get to their new community only to find there isn’t a space to put their favorite chair.
Pack Their Cherished Items Separately
Make sure you pack their favorite items separately so that you can unpack them first. This will make their new home seem comfortable straight away and they won’t have to be without the things they love and need until you have unpacked the last box.
Get to Know the Staff
Getting to know the staff in your loved one’s new community will help you to feel comfortable that they are going to the best place. The staff at a good facility such as Belmont Village Albany will answer any questions you may have and do their best to reassure you. The community staff will be your first point of contact if you have any concerns, and they will be able to call you if there is an emergency, so start building a relationship as soon as you can.
Get a List of Their Medication
It is important to keep a list of their medication to hand as the staff in their assisted living community will need this information. If your loved one needs to change doctor because they have moved, then you can give this list to the new doctor as well to make sure that nothing is missed out.
Help Them to Change Doctors
Changing doctors can be quite nerve-racking for an older person, especially if they spend a lot of time in their surgery. They may feel that the doctor understands them in a way that nobody else would and they may resist the change. Help your loved one by taking them to see the surgery and even going to their first appointment with them if they want you to. This will help them to feel relaxed and reassured.
Get a list of the utility companies your loved one uses for things such as electricity, telephone, and internet and call to inform them of your loved one’s moving date. You can also get the mail redirected to their new home so if they do get any further bills or letters from these companies, they won’t get lost in the mail and can be dealt with quickly.
Power of Attorney
This is a good time to speak to your loved one about appointing a Power of Attorney. This means that decisions can be made for them if they get too infirm to make them. It is good to set this up in case your loved one suffers from dementia or a stroke and can no longer make decisions for themselves.
If your loved one hasn’t already made a will, this is a good time to do so. This will save complications and arguments in the event of your loved one’s death and could save years of legal wrangling. Once they have made a will, you should be aware of where they decide to keep it so that it is easily accessible in the event of their death.
This may be a good time for your loved one to review their finances. Take them to the bank for a review or call their financial advisor. Their financial needs will probably change once they are living in their new home, so this is an ideal time for a financial review. Many older people do not like the idea of discussing finances so let them have their privacy over this matter if it is important to them, but be ready to help if they ask.
Moving to an assisted living community can be a stressful time for everyone involved, but with help and support, your loved one will settle into their new home.