For many seniors who face moving to a new home late in life, they are forced to face the grief of giving up a home that they enjoyed for years, maybe even decades. This process can be very challenging for all involved. Here are some tips to make the transition easier:
1. Recognize that a transition like this will initiate the grieving process. Become familiar with the stages of grief – denial, anger, reasoning, and acceptance. Know that certain behaviors exhibited through the process may fall into one of those stages and remember that it is a stage, not a long-term issue. If the senior is allowed to move through the stages, then he or she will eventually reach acceptance.
2. Take time to savor the sentimental items as you pack up. Be sure to make room for some of those items in the new home. Make the process of distributing personal property to other family members a time of celebrating old memories. Seeing these items appreciated by the recipient often makes it easier to let them go.
3. Have others go through items that need to be donated to charity and take care of that for the senior.
4. Allow your loved one time and space to talk. Communicating these complex feelings with a loving family member, or outside therapist if needed, helps to alleviate some of the anxiety.
5. Aid in the transition to the new home by helping him or her meet new neighbors and learn ways to be involved in the community.
If you have a family member approaching the stage of moving into a long-term care facility or a new retirement community and have not met with an Elder Law attorney to discuss long-term planning, estate planning and incapacity planning, please reach out to the experienced attorneys at Stouffer Legal at 443-470-3599 in the Greater Baltimore area.