Downsizing? Moving Guide For Seniors
Are your parents getting older and thinking of leaving the family home they have been living in for many years? This stage of life represents a trying moment for the elderly but also for the family members.
When an older person moves, one of the keys to success is preparation. We suggest you consult our article entitled: 8 tips that will help an elderly person manage their anxiety during a move.
Are your parents moving to a senior’s residence? Help them make the right choice
The space your parents will occupy in a senior’s residence will be better suited to their condition but it will likely be smaller than their current home or condo. This means that they will have to make choices and sell or give away furniture, personal effects, objects and souvenirs, etc.
This process may involve getting rid of objects that have great sentimental value. They will have difficult decisions to make. Your involvement can no doubt help your parents reduce the short-term impact a move might have on their lives.
Your parents are leaving the family home? Spend time with them
When seniors move into a smaller living space, another key to success is to start by creating a list of things that are no longer really useful. The garage of the family home and the basement are probably the best places to start selecting objects that will not be useful once they leave the house.
Although this step may seem simple and quick to accomplish, this is not the case. This step can become a special moment that you will spend with your parents. Take the time to go through the boxes of objects and photos. You will be able to exchange with them on the memories evoked by these objects. This time you spend with your parents will help them mourn and no doubt find someone to give those memories to.
Help your parents recreate their living environment in a senior’s residence
You are skilled with technology; use software that will allow you to create the plan of your parent’s new apartment. Of course, a sheet of grid paper works too. Insert in this plan the furniture and objects that your parents want to keep.
This exercise will allow them to visualize the space they will have. In the end, this plan will serve as a guide. It will help you make decisions about what furniture your parents can keep and what to sell or donate.
Downsizing: Some tips to help you choose furniture and items you will not use
As mentioned above, the person who moves to a smaller space will have to make difficult choices. The basement and garage are often the ideal places to start working.
Eliminate furniture and objects from rooms in the house that you no longer use. Do your elderly parents own a big house with several bedrooms? Maybe you still have your room? Of course, you can easily remove most of the furniture and things in it. Put all the effort in one room at a time.
Then validate what will be kept in the lingerie. If your parents live in a house that has 4 bedrooms and there is only one bedroom in their retirement home, there are certainly sets of sheets, blankets and pillows that can be left out.
Object collections should also be reviewed. Will it be possible to keep them in the residence? If that's not possible, take pictures of the objects that make up these collections to preserve them as souvenirs. If you have space, keep a small number of items in these collections.
Another tip is to start with the larger items and finish with the smaller ones. Sorting furniture will create a sense of quick progress.
Even if they are older, your parents may like technology!
Are your elderly parents using a computer, tablet or smart TV on a daily basis? Why not offer to digitize their collections of photos, CDs, DVDs or just their documents such as invoices or government paperwork.
Several printers now integrate a scanner. In addition, there is a multitude of mobile applications that will allow you to transform paper documents into PDF format.
Complete address changes. Whom to notify when you move
- Redirect your parent's mail to their new address
- Revenu Québec
- Revenu Canada
- Quebec Pension Plan
- Canada Pension Plan
- Régie de l’Assurance-maladie du Québec (RAMQ)
- Société de l’Assurance-automobile du Québec (SAAQ)
- Hydro-Québec, Hydro Sherbrooke or any electricity supplier
- Énergir or your natural gas supplier
- Telecommunications supplier (cell phone, internet, cable)
- Your Bank or Caisse populaire
- The institution managing your REER, placements or credit card
Tip: the company called MovingWaldo allows you to complete all your address changes for free quickly.
Home support for seniors, an interesting alternative
Do your parents want to continue living at home? With support from a caregiver and home help services, home support is an interesting option. Even for a person who has health problems, Alzheimer's disease or loss of autonomy.
Home support offers many benefits. Your parents know their home well, and the neighbourhood they live in may be an important anchor for them. Their friends, acquaintances and activities may be close to their home.
Do not neglect factors such as the neighbourhood, closeness of shops, social life that your parents have developed over the years. These are important points to consider when your parents need to make a decision about their future.
Make the Right Choices When Looking for a Retirement Home
Remember that looking for a retirement home is a process that can be long and tedious. Many criteria must be taken into consideration when choosing a future place of living such as the neighbourhood, the type of residence, the services offered and the environment.
Feel free to use the services of a Visavie Retirement Home & Senior Housing Counsellor. They will accompany your parents in their search for a senior’s residence, the service is free and without obligation.