There are many reasons why you would want to help your dependent move homes. Whether it’s because you want to move them in with yourself, so you can take better care of them, or have them downsize to a different living space that is more near to your own home, situations can vary. However, one thing is certain: moving can get pretty stressful.
This is even more true if you’re a senior person, as once you age, you’ll find yourself needing more and more help. If you’re the primary caregiver of a senior citizen, and you find ourself in a situation where your dependent needs to switch homes, here are a few tips to keep them safe during the move.
Let Them Help, but Keep Them Safe from Falls
Falls are one of the most common and biggest injury risks for seniors. Whether it’s due to poor vision or unstable gait, a lot of seniors find themselves prone to falling. When it comes to moving, things can get complicated. A lot of seniors want to be independent and do things by themselves, including carrying boxes down the stairs or helping you move big pieces of furniture, but this could potentially endanger them.
Try to assess how able your dependent is in helping you, but do so in a realistic manner. If you’ve discerned that they are unable to handle the tougher activities related to the move, gently nudge them towards other, safer undertakings. Whatever you do though, if they’ve expressed an interest in helping, don’t leave them out of the process entirely. Remember that they are moving from their own home, where they’ve lived a good part of their lives, and they do not want to be treated like they are incapable.
Communicate With Your Dependent
It’s important to keep your dependent in the know regarding the move. Imagine how difficult it must be for a senior person to move from the home they’ve grown so accustomed to. Explain everything to them, from the reasons why they need to move, to how they can lend a helping hand. This will not only make them feel useful, but also heard.
Communicating with your dependent will not only help them feel more comfortable with the move, but it will also reduce their stress levels. Florin, owner of NYC movers company Empire Movers, has dealt with a lot of senior moving situations in his ten years of owning the company. He explains that the most important thing when helping a senior citizen move is to make them feel included.
Make Their New Home a Safe Haven
The home our senior is moving into should be tailored to their needs and issues, especially if their old one wasn’t. You need to consider what sort of ailments they suffer from, and how prone they are to falls. As mentioned before, falls are some of the biggest reasons for elderly injuries.
If the senior person is still capable of living by themselves, but need a bit of help every now and then, you still need to make their new home safe for them. Home modifications for elderly people are all the rage nowadays. Consider installing a walk-in shower in case they have trouble getting in or out of the bathtub, or maybe even take into account a medical alert system.
Take Care of Yourself
As a primary caregiver, you’ll often not be mindful enough of your own problems and health issues. This is especially true when moving, and even more so if you’re doing all the planning and work by yourself. Make sure to take frequent breaks, and to hydrate yourself as much as possible. Also, don’t forget to eat something every now and then. If things get overwhelming, take a walk around the neighborhood, or maybe leave some things for tomorrow.
Some people believe that in the context of primary caregiving, taking care of your own needs might be selfish. But, it’s not possible to take care of another unless you take care of yourself as well. Keep in mind that you need to maintain your own health as well if you want your dependent to be happy and well taken care of.