The Bekins Blog

How to Help Older Adults on Moving Day

December 12, 2023 | Moving Guides & Tips, Senior Moves

Moving can be tough for anyone. But for older adults, the physical and emotional challenges are often amplified. Recognizing these challenges and understanding the importance of safety precautions can make the transition smoother and safer.

Whether you’re a caregiver, a child of an older adult or an older adult yourself, Bekins Van Lines is on your side. We have years of experience performing senior moves, and many of our agents are Silver Certified. This certification shows you can trust us to handle your precious belongings with the utmost care. Get started with your senior move by reviewing our tips below. Then, contact us to set your move into action. 

Understanding the Needs of Older Adults

Relocating an older adult is an intricate and unique process. It’s paramount to recognize and address the distinct needs older adults face during this transition. 

  • Physical limitations: Age can bring about reduced mobility and strength, making tasks like lifting and carrying boxes risky.
  • Emotional attachments and stress: Moving from a long-time home can be emotionally taxing. Memories associated with items and spaces can make the process of moving particularly challenging.
  • Medical needs and medications: Seniors often have medical needs that can’t be overlooked during the chaos of moving. Keeping track of medications and ensuring they’re accessible is crucial.

Pre-Move Preparations

Before the big day arrives, take these steps to ease the process and ensure safety: 

  • Decluttering: Downsizing is essential. By only taking necessary items, seniors can reduce the physical and emotional burden of the move. For those older adults who need help downsizing, the National Association of Senior Move Managers can put you in touch with caring professionals in your area.
  • Packing essentials separately: Items like medications, important documents, and daily use items should be packed separately to ensure they’re easily accessible.
  • Hiring a professional moving service: Opt for movers with experience in senior moves. They’ll be more attuned to the unique needs and challenges older adults face.

Bekins movers carrying boxes into new home.

Safety Measures on Moving Day

Accidents happen. However, by following these tips you can reduce the risk of mistakes: 

  • Ensure clear pathways: Keeping pathways free of obstacles and tripping hazards is crucial to prevent accidents.
  • Adequate lighting: All areas, especially stairways and hallways, should be well-lit to avoid mishaps.
  • Use of proper footwear: Older adults should wear non-slip shoes to minimize the risk of slipping.
  • Stay hydrated and encourage regular breaks: This ensures that seniors don’t overexert themselves.
  • Keep emergency contacts and medications at hand: In case of any unforeseen events, having these essentials close is vital.

Role of Caretakers

Young hand holding older adult hand.

The involvement and support of caretakers during the move is invaluable. If you’re guiding an older adult through a move, follow these tips: 

  • Supervising the move: Caretakers should ensure that movers handle items with care, especially those with sentimental value.
  • Emotional support: Being present and offering a listening ear can significantly reduce the stress of moving for an older adult.
  • Post-move setup: It’s essential to ensure the new place is set up to be safe and comfortable for the senior.

Post-Move Tips

Once the move is complete, it’s time to help the older adult settle in. There are key considerations to make an older adult feel at home in their new environment, including: 

  • Unpacking essentials first: Before diving into decorative items, ensure the essentials, like toiletries and kitchen items, are unpacked and accessible.
  • Setting up a safe and familiar environment: Arrange items in a way that feels familiar, making the new place feel like home.
  • Installing safety measures: Features like grab bars in bathrooms, non-slip mats and adequate lighting can make a world of difference in ensuring safety.

Ready for a Safe and Seamless Senior Move? 

Bekins mover shakes hand of older adult customer.

For older adults, moving is not just a physical transition, it’s also an emotional journey. By understanding their unique challenges and taking the necessary safety precautions, we can make this transition as smooth and stress-free as possible. Contact Bekins Van Lines today and let our experienced moving team guide you every step of the way.

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