Moving and Downsizing – How Best to Help Elderly Loved Ones Make Transition

Ironic, isn't it? Eventually we become parents to our parents. At some point it will be best for them to downsize their home. You too will need to do the same at some point. Help them make a safe transition and start preparing for your longevity now.

Recommend This Page
Moving and Downsizing – How Best to Help Elderly Loved Ones Make Transition
5 Min Read March 26th, 2021

Moving to a new house is one of the most stressful and most emotional life events for anyone. It is hard not to get attached to the place where you have spent some time. What is more, change, no matter how beneficial and necessary, rarely comes easy. 

For the elderly, it can get even more overwhelming. All the memories made in the place they have spent most of their life make that home difficult to leave behind. Therefore, when the time to downsize comes, it is imperative to help your elderly parent move to a new home. That help will involve all the moving-related tasks - from preparing to move to the relocation itself. But most importantly, your parent will need all the emotional support they can get. Finally, you will need to help them settle in the new place so they can call it their new home. 

Downsizing - Benefits for Older People are Numerous

Once it becomes clear that relocation is the best option for your parents, it's essential to help them understand all the positive aspects of moving to a new home. After all the kids have moved out and started their own lives, such a big house can only become a burden. Now that they live alone, they really do not need such a lot of empty space. 

Moreover, aging brings difficulty moving around, so cleaning and maintaining such a place will undoubtedly become an issue. Also, going up and down the stairs may not be that easy. Finally, we should not neglect the financial aspect of downsizing. The elderly usually have less income, and paying the bills for a huge house is unnecessary. 

When you go over all the positive sides of moving, you must make sure you speak calmly and emphasize the good. The truth is that your elderly parent's life will be much easier in a new home. With fewer expenses, a home that can accommodate their possible mobility issues, they can enjoy life more and spend their money on fun activities and even travel.

It's Emotional - Be Empathic 

As we have already established, moving is an overwhelming life event for your parents. Therefore, it's imperative to help them overcome any difficulties emotionally. Just being there for them is sometimes enough. Make sure you listen to their fears and help them resolve any dilemmas they may have regarding the move. 

Two women talking and smiling.

Also, your parents must have a say in what is happening. They should be able to express their opinions about where they are going. They should say whether they like the place at all. And your job is to hear them out, consider their opinions, and discuss any issues calmly if they arise. 

A Lifetime of Stuff - Time to Declutter

Everyone tends to accumulate stuff in their homes. And a lifetime of collecting can amount to quite a burdensome load of belongings. Whenever and whoever is preparing for relocation, decluttering is the first thing on the list of tasks that need addressing. 

There are practical sides to consider:

  • The move will be cheaper as moving companies usually charge by the weight and size of the cargo they should relocate.
  • You will live in a better organized and uncluttered home.
  • If your parent is downsizing, chances are they will have less space for all the unnecessary things.

Decluttering is something you will have to help your aging parent with. Sorting through all those memories and mementos of youth can be emotionally draining. Even when there is no heavy lifting involved, they will need support letting go of the items that remind them of past life events. During the decluttering, they may reminisce about these events and talk about them. 

Reminiscing as You Declutter

This is an excellent opportunity to talk and remember some of the past's funny situations and laugh about them. The whole process will go much more smoothly if you spend time together and say goodbye to the old home in a cleansing and comforting way.

Finally, if your parent has difficulty letting go of some items and transferring them to their new home is not possible, they should know that placing them in storage is always a good option. That way, they will not have to say goodbye, and the items will be safe until needed again or the time to part with them has come. 

Packing - A Day's Worth of Fun

An older couple and their dog.After the decluttering, it's time to start packing. While you can hire professional packers to do this for you, inviting friends and family to help may be a better option. Seeing more people there and ready to offer a helping hand will show your elderly parent that they are not alone and that many people care about them. With more people around, this may even turn out to be a fun activity. Most importantly, talking and joking will help take your parent's mind off things that may bother them. 

If you are moving more than a few miles away, you need to make sure packing is done correctly to protect your property.

Finding the Right Moving Crew

While there are tasks you can do on your own, the actual move, be it a few miles away or across the country, is best left to the professionals. They will handle all the heavy lifting, loading, and unloading, allowing you to spend time with your parents so they can relocate to your new home easily and stress-free. 

Many companies are particularly sensitive to the needs of the elderly and even specialize in elderly relocation. They can efficiently address any mobility issues and are equipped with all necessary equipment to make the relocation speedy and safe. 

Patience and Empathy - Two Ingredients to Help Parent's Move

The essential steps of every relocation are always the same - planning, scheduling, decluttering, packing, and moving. Senior relocations require two ingredients - patience and empathy. Therefore, if you want to help your parents move to a new house, you have to be full of understanding. You must be there for them in more ways than one. Your job will not only be packing and heavy lifting. 

Your most important task will be to offer your parent support through emotionally challenging stages. You should help them understand what their options are. You will need to talk to them about everything and put your listening skills to the test. 

Recommend This Page

About the Author

Jane Stinson is a relocation specialist who has worked with many seniors over the years. Having seen how hard some of them have taken it, she has decided to start blogging about helping seniors, and younger generations, move to their new homes. Jane aims to make the whole experience more comfortable. In her free time, she enjoys reading and gardening.

LTC News Contributor Jane Stinson

Jane Stinson

Contributor since March 26th, 2021

Editor's Note

Understanding that your parents may need long-term care should be considered when thinking about a new home or them. A full bathroom on the main floor is especially important for anyone older, but it is even more critical as they require long-term health care.

If they have a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, they will have resources to pay for in-home care provides them the independence of remaining at home. Otherwise, paid caregivers will adversely impact income, assets, lifestyle, and legacy. 

Adult children could find themselves thrust into the role of a family caregiver, which is physically and emotionally demanding. 

Preparing for Longevity

As you think about your parent's downsizing, you should ask yourself the question about your plans for the costs and burdens that come with getting older. A retirement plan should include a plan for long-term health care.

You experience changes in your health, body, and mind as you get older. These changes can result in your need for help with daily activities. Unfortunately, many of us will suffer from some type of dementia, requiring supervision to keep us safe from harm.

Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance provides the tax-free resources to help you safeguard assets and reduce the stress and burdens otherwise placed on your family. You know you don't want your children to be your caregivers. You probably want to protect assets and remain independent.

An LTC policy helps you avoid dependency. Experts say the best time to obtain coverage is before retirement, ideally in your 40s or 50s. Premiums are much more affordable at these ages as well. Since policies are medically underwritten, your current health is considered when applying for coverage. 

LTC NEWS Resources

LTC NEWS has many tools and resources to help educate you on your available options and help you to select the best way to address longevity.

You can find the current and future costs of long-term care where you live. This information helps you see the financial impact of long-term care on your savings and helps you decide the amount of coverage appropriate for you in your situation. 

If you have a parent or other family member that needs care now, this calculator will be an excellent guide to judge costs against the averages. 

Find your location and use the LTC NEWS cost of care calculator by clicking here.

This comprehensive guide is an exceptional first-read -  The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide. Be sure to take notes so you can ask the appropriate questions when you speak with a qualified and trusted Long-Term Care Insurance specialist.

Find a trusted and experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you in seeking the best options. Premiums vary over 100%. Most insurance agents and financial advisors lack the knowledge required in this area. Plus, they usually only have one or two companies to compare.

Click here and find a specialist.

Marketing and Advertising on LTC NEWS

Readers of LTC NEWS are researching retirement issues, including aging, health, caregiving, and long-term care. Other readers seek information for a parent or other loved one who is experiencing declining health or aging issues and require extended care.  

There are many marketing opportunities available, including sponsored content articles. Sponsored content offers you a long-form way to sell yourself, your company, and your ideas.

LTC NEWS can be an affordable way to drive consumers to your website or business - or promote products and services.

Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business - click here.

Be Published on LTC NEWS

LTC NEWS offers many resources to help families address the consequences of long-term care, aging, health, caregiving, and other retirement issues. You can be part of the effort to help educate consumers throughout the U.S. and around the world.

Write a story for publication on LTC NEWS and let America hear what you have to say. Be sure your article fits the LTC NEWS target audience of adults 40-70.

Topics can include stories on:

  • Aging
  • Caregiving
  • Health
  • Long-Term Care
  • Retirement Planning

There are numerous other related topics, as well. You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. It must have editorial content exclusive for LTC NEWS and cannot be just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.

Email your story idea or article: or click here

LTC News Trusted & Verified

Work With a Trusted Specialist

Get Accurate Long-Term Care Insurance Quotes

  • Has substantial experience in Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Strong understanding of underwriting, policy design, and claims experience
  • Represents all or most of all the leading insurance companies
man and woman sitting at desk
Connect With a Long-Term Care Specialist

Find Affordable Insurance and the Right Coverage.

LTC News Trusted & Verified
Learn More

Step 1 of 4

Find a Specialist

Get Started Today

Trusted & Verified Specialists

Work with a trusted Long-Term Care Insurance Specialist Today

  • Has substantial experience in Long-Term Care Insurance
  • A strong understanding of underwriting, policy design, and claims experience
  • Represents all or most of all the leading insurance companies

LTC News Trusted & Verified

Compare Insurers


Claim this listing

Fill out this short form

Step Number:


Request Listing Edit

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Step Number:


Are you a customer of this business, or are you an employee?