The need to downsize to a senior living community or condominium becomes a reality for seniors after retirement and when their children finally leave home. The reason is that maintaining a bigger house for one or two individuals does not make good financial sense. Also, huge properties may require frequent maintenance and repairs, which can be quite taxing.
Zippy Shell of Las Vegas has helped hundreds of seniors pack and move; we’ve learned a thing or two about how to make the process easy for seniors, and we’d like to share some of our expertise. The idea of packing and moving may feel overwhelming both emotionally and physically for seniors. Below are some tips to help seniors pack to facilitate a smooth and efficient relocation.
1. Establish A Moving and Packing Timeline
Before helping a senior pack for a move, the first thing you should do is ensure you have a plan on paper. Understand that assisting seniors move can be an arduous task. The reason is that such individuals have a lifetime of cherished memories and belongings to pack up. You should prepare to go through each of these items, weed out what is necessary, and pack what a loved one needs.
The planning process is even harder when helping seniors with mobility issues. This is because they cannot run around anymore while being efficient and getting things done. In that case, you need to remain sensitive to the fact that though a senior may not move as quickly as before, they deserve your time and patience when helping them pack for a move.
Creating a packing timeline, in this case, becomes a necessity. By doing so, you will get everything done within the timeline you specify. You should also consider leaving extra time for seniors and those with disabilities, which is achievable when you start packing as soon as possible. Some of the things that a moving plan for seniors should feature include;
- Specific time parameters.
- A budget for the moving company you will hire and utilities for the new home.
- Details of the senior moving company you will hire.
- The family members and friends you will involve.
- Downsizing and decluttering information.
- An inventory of the items a senior loved one owns.
- Details on when you expect to start packing.
- A schedule for utilities for the new home.
- Time to prepare mentally for the change.
- The checklist above will help you break large, seemingly impossible chores into manageable tasks.
Once you have a plan in place, the next thing you need to do is divide your senior’s belongings into three categories. These should include the items to keep, those to donate/sell, and those to trash. Note that when decluttering/downsizing, you should handle each room independently and avoid rushing the process.
Remember that each of those items represents your loved one’s memories. You should expect seniors to have lots of emotions to process as they go through each of their possessions. As such, devoting one room to each day is a wise idea to avoid making seniors feel rushed. Additionally, identify a local charity that your senior values to donate what they do not need.
You can also give some items to family members, sell others, and trash whatever is broken or no longer needed. Eventually, you will remain with what you should pack and bring to the new home or store in a facility. Remember to take an inventory of all remaining items to ensure that a list is available in case of damage or loss when moving them to the new place.
3. Gather Necessary Supplies
You need supplies to pack everything properly when helping seniors move. Take time to identify and gather the supplies you need. When you start packing, you should do it properly to simplify the process and reduce the chances of injury. Do not make the mistake of imagining thick, sturdy boxes can be overloaded with stuff.
Additionally, huge packing boxes can buckle under pressure. Exercise caution by keeping the boxes relatively light. Once every item is packed, label all boxes with the belongings’ names and the room they need to be placed in after arrival in the new home. Labeling boxes by how urgently they will be needed is also advisable.
By doing so, movers will know what to pack inside the truck first and what needs to go towards the door to facilitate quick access.
4. Take Care of Potential Hazards
Although the packing and moving process is a slow one, it can be dangerous too. You or your senior will be navigating different rooms much more frequently, which means that one of you will encounter hazards often. In such situations, avoiding accidents like falling and tripping is possible.
You only need to remove any obstacles lying in the way and ensure paths leading to each room are clear. That will reduce walker or wheelchair obstructions as well as tripping hazards. You also need to remember that anything from cords to area rugs can pose hazards to those who are unsteady on their feet.
Getting rid of any obstructions on paths to different rooms is something you should not overlook when helping seniors pack for a move.
5. Prepare An Essentials Bag
Most seniors have health issues requiring multiple medications and prescriptions. A senior with health issues may also have equipment and supplies like diabetic test strips or oxygen tanks that they may need to access fast. Avoid the mistake of packing such items on the moving truck because it will deny seniors the prompt access they need to their medical supplies.
Instead, consider packing an essentials bag with necessary items, including books, pajamas, phone chargers, comfort items like crossword puzzles, toiletries, plastic utensils, and a change of clothes. An essentials bag should include everything a senior will require the first night or two in the new home.
Instead of handling this responsibility yourself, Zippy Shell of Las Vegas can help seniors pack the essentials they need. That withdraws the hassle and headache of counterchecking to confirm that an essentials bag has all the necessary items.
Transitioning to a new place is no mean task for seniors. As such, you cannot afford to ignore the importance of proper planning when helping seniors pack for a move. Adopting the tips above will make such a move as easy, safe, and comfortable as possible. If you or a senior you love needs help packing or moving, Zippy Shell of Las Vegas can help. Contact us to discover more and enjoy our services.