Moving parents into a retirement community comes with certain challenges. Adult children will have to pitch in and help with certain aspects like logistics and finances. The move can be accomplished with minimal stress by taking careful consideration of some vital aspects. More importantly, you must be sympathetic as to how your parents will react to the move.
Your parents will initially find it painful to even just think about leaving their home. They will feel apprehensive and sad about the move. You have to accept the fact that they need to grieve. You also have to assure them that the choice is theirs to make.
Talk to them about the advantages of moving into a home. Your parents do not have to worry about the little details of daily living that may now be a bit of a challenge for them. They do not have to worry about cooking meals, doing laundry, buying groceries, or keeping the house and yard clean. They will be able to make new friends and enjoy a wide variety of fun-filled activities in their new home.
The distress that seniors feel about moving to a retirement community is often rooted in their seeming loss of control over their future. You can make it easier for them by giving them as much choice as you can about planning and implementing the move. You can make a shortlist of promising homes. Accompany your parents to these homes. Let them observe how the seniors there are enjoying their new lives. Discuss the shortlisted retirement homes with them, get their input, and include them in making the final choice.
Once the decision is made, make detailed plans. How big is the new residence? How many rooms do you have to furnish? Go here for some room examples. You can plot the floor plan and have fun planning how to furnish the place. Involving your parents in the activity should help them view the move with excitement and happy anticipation.
Involve the other members of your family in the plan. Moving parents into a retirement community is a big task. You can do with as much help as you can from the other members of the family. Engaging the help and support of the children and teenagers adds an element of fun. The support and encouragement from the entire family will ease the stress and emotional upheaval that come with making such a major move.
The move will require your parents to sort out their possessions and get rid of many items. Help them go through this process. Categorize the items. What items will your parents take with them to their new home? What items will they give away to other family members as keepsakes? What items will they sell or donate? What items will they throw out? Remember that your parents feel an emotional attachment to most of these items. Honor these feelings. Allow them to reminisce as they sort through their possessions. They are not just going through things; they are dealing with their memories.
What will happen to the house? Will your parent sell, rent it out, or pass it on to a family member? Regardless of what has been decided, help your parents make sure that they leave the house clean and presentable. It will help your parents leave with dignity and pride when they know that they are leaving the place that has served as their home for so many years in good condition.
Help your parents with the logistics and finances involved in making the physical move. Should you hire a full-service mover? Or do you load the moving truck yourself and have professional movers haul the cargo? Should you just rent a moving trailer or truck and do the loading and hauling yourself?
For sure, helping your parent move into a retirement community comes with certain challenges. However, the benefits that come after the smooth transition are many. Make sure that you and your beloved seniors do not lose sight of the meaningful, independent, and happy life that awaits them in their new home.