Helping a Senior Loved One Relocate – Part III


In the previous two parts of this series, our fictional daughter, Lisa, has prepared her mom for the idea of moving, discussed where her mom would like to move, and sold the family home after getting it organized and emptied. Now Lisa is facing the actual relocation of her mom to her new place.

Lisa’s mom decided she wanted to be closer to her grandchildren who live in a different state, so she is moving to an independent living facility near Lisa and her family that they found together. Because the trip will be more than a few hours, they have to decide whether they should drive or fly.

Driving vs. Flying

This decision will be based on how the senior prefers to travel. If they have never been on a plane before, which is more common than you might think, they may be more comfortable riding in a car, even though it will mean a longer trip. Taking pets and certain personal belongings will also be easier by car instead of plane.

Be sure to make reservations at a hotel with proper accommodations if your road trip will require an overnight stay. Find a room that is wheelchair accessible if your loved one is no longer mobile; ensure there are grab bars in the bathroom to keep them steady, and try to book a room that is close to the lobby or elevator to minimize the amount of walking needed.

If the senior is comfortable flying, pack all medications in their carry-on or yours, even if it won’t be needed during the trip. This will avoid having to get prescriptions refilled quickly in a new location if checked bags are lost or delayed. Most airlines will make special accommodations for those who have a hard time walking or getting around, so ask them about special gate passes or transportation within the terminal ahead of time.

Getting Your Loved One Settled in

Moving out of necessity isn’t nearly as exciting as moving into your first home or dream home, so your loved one may not be looking forward to it. Having their new place ready before they arrive will make it more inviting.

If you are unable to set up the new space, consider hiring a Senior Move Manager (SMM) to do it for you. An SMM can design a layout based on the belongings the senior is bringing with them and the floorplan of their new residence. They will arrange the furniture, unpack and break down boxes, put kitchen items in cabinets and drawers, make beds, and hang pictures on walls to help the new space feel like home.

Moving is an adjustment, no matter what age you are, but taking the proper steps can help smooth the transition for your loved one.