Did you know that there are more than just The Ten Commandments in the Old Testament? In fact there are more than 600! Your inter-generational family’s exodus will be an exciting, busy, and sometimes hectic day for everyone. But moving day can be especially stressful for older people. So here are an additional Ten Suggestions (not 600 commandments!) to help you facilitate an easier, happier, smoother move for your elderly loved ones:
1. Make certain that any prescriptions that are running low have been renewed and re-filled prior to moving day.
2. Keep all medications handy. Put them aside with any other items you’ll be taking with you or in an overnight bag. The last thing you want to be doing is searching through moving boxes to find critically needed medications just before you leave or as soon as you arrive at your new home.
3. Start the big day well rested. Moving can take a lot of emotional energy. Have all of the final pre-move work done early on the day BEFORE the big move so that everyone can get a good night’s sleep.
4. Explain your plan and expectations of how the move should go including what time the movers will arrive, departure time, etc. The more informed your elders are the easier it will be to prepare themselves for all of the activity on moving day.
5. Share the information you have about your moving company with your parents and elders. And introduce them to their movers by name when the moving crew arrives.
6. Make a point of alerting the moving crew to your parents’ or elders’ most unique, sentimental or valuable items. Professional movers take care to move every item safely, but it will be reassuring for elders to see and hear and know that their prized personal possessions are being given special attention and treated with extra tender loving care.
7. Reassure your parents or elders about the safety of their possessions. It can be worrisome to watch your life’s treasures getting packed, loaded and driven away.
8. Talk about where you’re all going and what lies ahead at your destination. Don’t allow elders to dwell so much on what they’re leaving behind. Remind them about the advantages that await them at their new home and focus on what they have to look forward to when you get there to the promised land.
9. Let the movers do ALL of the lifting! There is a natural desire to want to help or pitch-in. Older adults are at greater risk of injury from trying to lift or move heavy boxes themselves. The movers are there to move you. Professionals know how to move everything in your home safely and properly. Let them.
10. “Getting there is half the fun.” So whether you’re flying, riding or driving don’t forget to enjoy the flight, the ride, or the drive. Remember to take time to have some fun on the journey to your new home.
The third of The Ten Commandments – “Honor thy father and thy mother” – is the only one that comes with the promise “that you may have a long, good life” attached to it. None of these suggestions comes with any such promise. But following them can help get you and your parents or elders in your household moving smoothly toward living that long, good life together in your new home. Amen!
Lara Taylor – Realtor/Broker
Twitter – @AskForLara