Tips for Moving an Elderly or Disabled Family Member

Moving a family member because they need extra care is not something anyone wants to think about. Unfortunately with the ages people are living to, it seems inevitable. Because of the emotions and pressures involved in moving a parent, or other elderly or disabled family member this is a move we suggest that everyone plans well in advance. Sit down with them years in advance if possible and agree to a plan.

While there is much advice about how to deal with the situation, we could not find any that focused on how to move an elderly parent or family member. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. When hiring a moving company ask about their experience with nursing homes and senior buildings. Facilities like those are much different than moving into a regular apartment and experienced movers will be able to help you with what to expect.
  2. Consider a moving labor service. This allows you to rent the moving truck and hire professionals to load/unload it. This method of moving often saves money and allows your family member to feel more in control of what is happening.
  3. Most nursing homes and assisted living facilities only allow a few personal items or pieces of furniture. The average size room is about 15o-200 square feet. That is equal to a medium-large bedroom. Take only the bare essentials the first trip. If there is room the plan to move other items. Don’t set your loved on up for disappointment by trying to make everything fit.
  4. In many cases there will be furniture that you and other family members either have to find a home for or bring into your own homes. These are pieces that have financial our sentimental value that would be hard to replace. Sit down with all parties involved and decide who will take what to avoid disagreements later.
  5. If an item is particular valuable or fragile consider crating it. Crating is a service in which a company comes to your home and custom builds a wood box to fit the exact dimensions of your furniture, art or other valuable piece. This provides the most security and safety while moving. In the Cincinnati area we recommend Custom Built Crates.
  6. Consider storage. Sometimes it is to difficult to deal with where things will be moved and what will sold or given away. Storage gives you a good alternative until you can deal with those pieces or your family member is sure they no longer need. Keep in mind that most storage places charge between $100-$150 a month (more for climate controlled storage) so this expense can really add up over time.
  7. If you and your family member decide they should keep valuables at their new residence, provide them with a small safe. The kind with digital keypads are now commonly available for less than $75. This provides them with a sense of security and piece of mind in new surroundings.
  8. Keep the fragile items at a bare minimum. Bare in mind that there will be less room for displaying knick knacks and collectibles. Also the rooms are normally cleaned on a regular basis by the facility staff which makes it more likely something may get damaged.
  9. Move medical records separately. This insures they don’t get lost and makes them easily accessible. Once they are in the new home inform the facility manager of where they can be found if needed.
  10. Plan for friends and family to visit your family member AFTER the move. Any mover will tell you having friends, neighbors and family members show up on moving day makes their job a lot harder. The confusion and distraction can be easily avoided. Plan for those people to come a day or two after, it will also make your family member feel better about their new home.
  11. If moving a long distance plan for an extra day in case something comes up or you decide to spend extra time with them. This means calculating the potential cost of a hotel and the extra day if you have a Penske or other rental truck.

 As always, if you have any suggestions, advice or comments feel free to post them with the “comment” link.

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