Housing Considerations for an Aging Relative

An older woman discusses real estate options.

Many families struggle with the best way to adapt housing to help an aging relative. Whether this means making modifications to keep them in their own home, moving a parent into your home, or moving with an aging parent into a new place altogether, there are many factors to consider. Fortunately, you can take steps throughout the entire process to make the experience easier for your aging relative.

The first step is to have an open discussion. The best thing you can offer to yourself and your aging relative is a candid assessment of the situation. Even if a sudden illness or a financial setback seems to be forcing a decision, it’s worth exploring how that decision will impact the entire family.

Creating a Safe Environment

If the aging relative is in overall good health, there are many things that can help seniors continue to live independently. If you need to make modifications in the home for an older adult, consider hiring professionals with accessibility improvement experience who can complete the work successfully.

  • Decluttering helps clear out rooms and walkways, giving older adults more room to move, hopefully reducing the possibility of trips and falls.
  • Create a more open environment, ensuring all hallways, stairs, and paths are well lit and clear of random objects.
  • Moving kitchen items that are frequently used to lower shelves can prevent older adults from reaching and losing balance or using stools or stepladders to reach what they need.
  • Set the thermostat on the water heater no higher than 120° F to prevent accidental burns.
  • Replace standard doorknobs with lever handles that are easier for older adults to grasp.
  • Thoroughly inspect the stairs looking for uneven steps or wobbly floorboards. Apply non-skid treads on the steps if necessary. You can also paint stair tops contrasting colors, making them easier to see.
  • Install grab bars around the tub, shower, and toilet. You can also get a unique shower chair or bench and a raised toilet seat.

Moving an Aging Relative

Moving is a stressful life event, and it can be even more stressful for older adults. Aging relatives may need a lot of help and support during a move, but they are usually the expert on exactly what they need. Also, be prepared for the emotions. If the move requires a significant amount of downsizing, it can be emotionally and physically challenging. You can eliminate some negative emotions by making sure your aging relative has a fair amount of control over as many aspects of the move as is reasonable. Having others around to share memories with can make the process less painful. Also, engage in regular talks about current feelings and fears of what may come.

Your communication, patience, and support will help make the transition smoother for your aging relative. The most important thing to focus on is their physical and emotional health.

If you are moving an elderly relative to a new home, Zippy Shell is a terrific moving and storage option for you! Zippy Shell can service both local and long-distance moves, no matter how big your move might be. If you need time in between your move or aren’t ready to move just yet, we offer flexible storage options as well. Go online and get a free quote today and see how we can make moving and storage simple for you and your family!

Avoid Moving-Related Stress with These 5 Tips

A couple looks at a computer in their home.

At Zippy Shell, we understand just how stressful a move can be, whether you are moving cross-country or just relocating one town away. Even thinking about the enormity of a move can bring on stress. Here are a few tips to help you overcome the anxiety of moving-related stress and help you tackle this like a pro!

Get Organized!

There is a reason why the word ‘’organized” or “organization” is consistently mentioned regarding moving and moving-related stress. When you plan ahead and implement organizational tools, your chances of a successful move (and less stress!) are much greater!

Implement a Schedule and Stick with It!

Whether you use an online calendar and to-do list, or go “old-school” with an Erin Condren LifePlanner, use what system works best for you to stay organized. Get the family involved. Post a hanging calendar on the fridge and circle essential dates (the day you want your kids to pack up their rooms, moving day, utility cut-off date, etc.). If you are a visual person, seeing the dates right in front of you in bright colors can effectively remind you and your family!

Kick Out Procrastination!

If you wait until the last minute to plan your move, you will be scrambling to finish, and this will undoubtedly cause stress. This isn’t the time to procrastinate. Give yourself plenty of time in your schedule to find a moving provider (or round up some friends and family), pack up your belongings, change addresses, disconnect utilities, etc. Procrastinating will not only cause stress, but it will also cost you money.

Enlist Friends and Family to Help!

If you are lucky to have friends and family nearby, enlist their help! They are a vital resource on moving days and will help relieve some moving day stress! Enlist those that are the most helpful. If your fraternity brother still dresses like he’s going to a big hair 80’s band concert and just came for free pizza and beer, you may want to leave him off the list. Be sure and offer your gratitude, and some food and beverage, to those around you that offer their help!

Prepare Mentally and Physically to Move!

Regardless of the enormity of your move, whether moving cross-country or across town, the process can still be stressful. If you are physically prepared (get a good night’s sleep, eat a healthy and fueling breakfast, be in healthy shape), you will be ready to tackle your move easier. Mentally you have to push out any anxiety or trepidations about your move and focus on the positives of this overwhelming task. Maybe you are moving closer to family or closer to the beach! Focusing on the positive can help push out the negative!

Take these five tips to heart when preparing for your next move, and you will be relieved to see how much easier your move can be! If you aren’t organized and tend to procrastinate, identify someone in your family or even a close friend to help you along the way. Share these tips with them, and you might be surprised how efficient you can become! Be sure to give Zippy Shell a call if you need any moving and storage help!