It can be a huge wrench leaving a large family home, one where they may have lived in for many years and where a family was brought up and memories were made. Not least is the problem of deciding what to take from the old house to the new. It may be the case that your relative is downsizing for health reasons. Research by the Live-in Care Hub (www.liveincarehub.co.uk) has shown that one of the reasons given by elderly people for moving to a smaller home is that the previous home had become too big to manage. This is especially pertinent when ill-health and frailty is becoming more troublesome. Therefore, it may be an option that you want to consider for your elderly relative.
There are multiple benefits to living at home including home care, as the Better at Home report has shown. So what can you do to help them make a move to a smaller home?
Look Towards the Future
Even if your elderly relative is in good health at the time of the move this may not remain the case. It ‘s a good idea therefore to take into account their future needs in terms of health care and practical requirements, access to public transport and proximity to a GP surgery. Look at whether a new home could be adapted should your relative suffer reduced mobility and consider whether there is any disability access or whether the garden, for example, is likely to prove too much for them.
Help with the De-cluttering
One of the hardest and most time-consuming things about any house move is sorting through your possessions to decide what goes with you and what doesn’t. When precious mementoes of a past life are involved it’s all the more difficult. You could set aside a few days or however long it takes and help them to go through all their belongings. Reassure them that those items which hold precious memories don’t have to be thrown away and anything that is deemed too big and bulky could be kept either at a relative’s or friend’s house or put into storage. Personal items that are unsuitable for the new home could be distributed among family members for safekeeping. Separate out items which can be given to charity shops or recycled.
Plan the Layout of the New Home
Once you’ve finished de-cluttering you can start to plan what goes where in the new home. You may find at this stage that you still have too much stuff to take and this is the ideal opportunity to think again. After all, you don’t want your relative to have to go through everything a second time at the new house.
Before the move itself it will help to find a professional moving company which specialises in moving elderly people. Then all you have to do is provide the comforting cups of tea.