We have worked with over 3000 boomers, seniors and families. Most people were unhappy with the prospect of a move. It was overwhelming in many ways: where to go, what to bring, what to do with the ‘stuff’, will I fit in, will I have enough money, will I survive in a smaller place???
It is actually emotionally exhausting. Even if a senior physically does very little they can still be very tired because of the DECISIONS and their unknown future.
To help alleviate this we usually see the new residence so we know what will or will not fit in. We listen to what is important to them and guide them with what to bring. Several clients wanted to bring an older sofa to one room in a retirement residence. Instead of saying “No! It won’t fit, or it doesn’t make sense.” We ask why they want to bring the item. Several replies were “I always sleep on it.” “I nap on it.” “I want a child or grandchild to sleep over.” The best reply was “My husband and I shared a bottle of wine and our only child was conceived on it.”
We have found it easier to focus on what will go to the new “home” for the client and deal with the rest after the move. Often a senior comes back to the residence with us and makes several decisions. We ask for a list of what we might find that they would like. Often it includes war medals, a coin or stamp collection, photos… Once they trust that we or the family will be sensitive to their concerns they usually leave.
It is an enormous task but if you set priorities and work away at them it does come together. Remember help is available.