If one or both of your parents cannot live alone in their home anymore without constant supervision and assistance, moving into an assisted living facility or even a nursing home is often necessary. Unfortunately, that relocation often means making some very difficult choices about their belongings, as their space in their new home will typically be much smaller than it is now. In addition, there might be strict guidelines as to the amount and type of belongings that are permitted to accompany them. As a result, the process of moving is likely to be more complex and time-consuming than you might expect and the advice discussed below can help to make the situation easier and less stressful for everyone involved.
#1-Hire A Neutral 3rd Party To Help Pack Up The Belongings From The Home
If either of your parents are physically and mentally healthy enough to participate in the process of sorting their belongings, it's a good idea to involve them in the process whenever possible. Unfortunately, that is not always an option, but it is important to note that you, your siblings or other interested parties who are going through everything are likely to experience a bit of nostalgia while doing so. That nostalgia can make it hard to part with many of the items and unless you are lucky enough to have a huge house with room for the majority of your belongings, packing could be a very frustrating process.
Since it's probably unnecessary that the packing and moving tasks are finished in a day or two, staggering the transport of the items from the home is a good idea, so you might want to discuss that option with each moving company that you are considering hiring. In that instance, hiring a neutral third party, who might be known as a senior move manager, to help sort through everything is helpful. The fresh eyes of someone who lacks sentimental attachment to the items could be exactly what you need.
That person might be one of the movers who will ultimately relocate everything or it might be someone who specializes in facilitating moves for senior citizens. Your movers might be able to make recommendations, if that service exists in your area.
#2-Establish What Will Go With Your Parents First...But Be Flexible When Doing So
It will first be necessary to set aside what your parents need and on a regular basis, after obtaining verification from the administrators at their new home about the maximum size, number or type of items that can stay with your mom and dad. Then, you will want to set aside seasonal clothes and decorations, books, movies and other items that can be switched out as the need occurs. One person can be in charge of that or it can be split between multiple friends, siblings and family members, with one person being in charge of clothing, another for artwork, etc.
In some instances, it's helpful to approach the move as a multi-step process that might occur over several days or more than a few weekends. Given how quickly available spaces in quality nursing and assisted living facilities can be snapped up, flexibility about the situation is a good idea. For instance, you might need to hire the movers to transport everything to your parent's new home, while items are still being sorted and before the home is empty.
You can always swap things out later so that your can parents stay as comfortable as possible during that difficult time.
#3-Determine The Total Number Of Items, Boxes, Etc. That Each Friend Or Family Member Can Take Home In Advance
Since you will hopefully not be handling the entire project by yourself and you will have help, try to start the process by determining the number, size, etc. of items that each involved person is comfortable taking home. That pre-determination can make it easier to not wind up with half of your parent's stuff taking over your basement for the next 30 years.
The next step of the previously mentioned multi-step moving process can include permitting movers to transport items as they accumulate to a decent amount and not delaying that process until the entire home is empty. A benefit of doing so is that as those items enter your new home, room can be made gradually so that everyone is aware of their available space for the next set of items.
Anything not being stored can be sold or donated to a favorite charity. It's important to note that while some buyers might pick up their new items, as will some charities, doing so is not an absolute. As such, the movers you are working with may need to participate in that final step as well.
In conclusion, the decision for an aging parent to move out of their home and into a nursing or assisted living facility is often a difficult one and the resulting move can be similarly challenging. Although choosing a new home for your parents can be stressful, the above advice can make moving easier.