Transitioning a senior parent from independent living to an assisted living facility can be a very difficult decision for both parties involved. Giving up independence is life altering for a senior, and now as an adult, being the caregiver brings added responsibility. There is much to consider in this transition —  including downsizing their belongings and then moving it to their new home. Take a bit of weight off your shoulders and hire professional full-service movers such as Harrison Moving. The transition is tough, but there are companies and services that are here to help you out. Read below for tips on how to make the moving transition of a senior parent one that you’ll both survive.

Survival Tips When Moving A Senior Parent

Oftentimes when you’re relocating a senior, they’re moving from a home they’ve been in their entire life! Sorting, packing, organizing, and discarding their stuff will take a great deal of time and effort, but doing this will be a great step forward.

Help your senior get started by creating a moving plan. Have a notebook available to them, and if they think of anything, have them write it down. Create to-do lists, questions, and a timeline of when things need to be completed. This is a great way for them to think about things they may want to give to family members.

This is also a great time to find the right moving company. Find a company that is invested in the process, and that offers a great experience in this difficult transition. This is also a perfect time to set a firm moving date. When you set a date consider the time of year, and try to avoid peak moving dates. This way they can’t push it or try and drag it out, as you have a moving company and have penciled a moving date with them.


Downsizing will be emotionally hard on a senior because they’re forced to make decisions on possessions they’ve had for a lifetime, this is a great time to turn an overwhelming situation into a new opportunity and adventure. When beginning this process designate a keep, donate, and discard bin or pile.

Where do you even begin? If time is kind, start by decluttering the space they’re in. Three to six months in advance will give you a great start on the process.

  • Sort old documents – Going through their filing cabinets and decades of documents is a good place to start, because paper piles up fast! Use a plastic bin and place all unwanted material in it. Save yourself time and take it to a facility that shreds and then recycles the paper.
  • Sort through kitchen items – Going through the kitchen and discarding and donating items will help the downsizing process immensely. The kitchen becomes a catch all for clutter, and going through each nook and cranny you’ll often find expired food items, an excess of plastic wrap and tin foil, and appliances that need to be donated. This is a fairly easy way to clear unwanted and unused items from the house.
  • Sort through hallway and bathroom closets – Similar to the kitchen, clutter can build up in closets. Discard old and expired medications, and health and beauty aids (old toothpaste, sunscreen, lotions, first aid items). Generally, in a  bathroom, there is a surplus of all sized bathroom towels, so keep what you’ll need and donate the rest.
  • Sort through the museum – Children like to store their stuff with their parents or the parents like to hold on to artifacts, but this is the time to clear the museum! If you, yourself have items there or any other siblings or family members, please ask them to get them promptly! Give them a deadline to remove their stuff and then discard if it’s not taken care of in the given time frame.
  • Sort room by room – This will be the biggest undertaking of all. Be mindful of your senior’s feelings and emotions. Allow them to make the executive decisions — have them identify or talk about items that hold sentimental value to them.

Harrison Moving

At Harrison’s by Apple Moving, we understand the challenges of moving a senior into an assisted facility and we are here to offer compassionate and friendly moving care.

Contact us today!

READ: Making the Transition: Seniors and Moving Part Two

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