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4 Tips for Minimizing Stress During Senior Moving

When aging in place is not an option, and it's time to relocate to a more suitable home, we can help. Reduce the stress of senior moving with these tips.

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Moving has the potential to be challenging for anyone. It is particularly difficult for seniors, especially if they have lived in the same place for a long time.

As of 2021, 1 in 5 Canadians were over the age of 65. Many seniors are downsizing or moving to a home for seniors. Without proper planning, these moves can become a stressful experience for seniors and their family members alike.

But with the right preparation, a senior moving can be stress-free. By following these 4 tips, you can ensure that your aging loved one has a smooth move. They can embrace this exciting next chapter in their life and settle into their new home with ease.

Plan Ahead for a Stress-Free Move

1. Plan Ahead for a Stress-Free Move

A move is a significant change for anyone. If your loved one has lived in the same location for a long time, moving to a new space will be a significant change.

The more planning you do ahead of time, the smoother the process will go. Several things will help you prepare in the weeks leading up to a senior moving.

By being proactive, your planning will reduce moving anxiety and make the entire experience easier. Here are some tips to help you plan for moving day.

Begin Downsizing

Seniors often relocate to smaller spaces. Perhaps they’re tired of maintaining a large house and property. Sometimes they have too much stuff and they are looking to downsize.

Downsizing should begin as soon as there is a decision to move. Begin by organizing belongings in the current home. Then, sort items into piles to pack, sell, dispose of, or donate.

When you begin downsizing, it is important to be respectful. What may seem unnecessary to some, may hold a lot of sentimental value for the senior who is moving.

By asking seniors which items they would like to keep, you will empower them during the moving process. It is important to keep items that evoke fond memories or feel familiar to the senior, as this will make them feel more comfortable in their new home.

By cutting down on clutter ahead of time, you will reduce the amount that needs to be moved. This will reduce moving stress for seniors, and help to avoid moving unnecessary items.

Photograph the Space

It’s important that seniors feel a sense of familiarity in their new space, particularly if they struggle with memory loss.

Before packing, family members should photograph the space and belongings. The photos will be a great reference point when they settle into their new home. It will help ensure their belongings get placed where they usually find them.

Clean Before You Pack

A move is a great time to give your belongings some extra TLC.

As you work through the current home to sort through belongings, take time to ensure every item is clean. Put any linens into the laundry, scrub dusty dishes, and dust picture frames before packing them.

It will be easier to unpack belongings in the new space if everything inside is clean and ready to go. It will make for a stress-free move.

Organize the Boxes

Begin packing during the weeks before the big move. Start by packing items used less if they won’t be needed before moving day. Then, as the weeks progress, continue packing.

Label each box with the room and contents. For example, “bathroom, shower accessories.” This will make finding what you’re looking for in the new location easier.

Stack the boxes with intention. Make sure that items that are needed immediately are easily accessible.

Pack a Suitcase

Reduce moving anxiety by planning for the day of the move itself.

Help seniors pack an overnight suitcase for the day of the move. This will make them feel more comfortable and relaxed if the boxes are still packed.

Make sure any necessary medication is easily accessible, as well as enough clothing and toiletries required for at least one night.

Make Plans for Moving Day

Communicate with the senior and other family and friends who are assisting with the move. Everyone must be on the same page about the schedule and plans for moving day.

Everyone should be fully aware of their roles and responsibilities. And don’t forget to make plans for easy meals as it will likely be a busy and exhausting day.

In addition to moving belongings, it is important to consider where the senior will sleep the first night if their bedding is not set up.

Hiring Professional Movers for Senior Moving

2. Hiring Professional Movers for Senior Moving

While the majority of loved ones are eager to assist seniors who are moving, it’s best to seek additional help. It is difficult to coordinate the busy schedules of family and friends. While it is nice to have help, hiring professional movers will help eliminate stress for the move.

With so many seniors choosing to downsize and relocate, many moving companies specialize in senior moving. A moving company will help with the following things:

  • Assist with Packing
  • Create a Moving Checklist
  • Provide Protective Quilt Pad Packing
  • Help Donate Unwanted Belongings
  • Assist with the Move Itself
  • Unpacking
  • Set-Up

By hiring experienced professionals, families won’t need to worry about belongings getting damaged by loved ones who are volunteering to help. It also prevents injuries from lifting and moving heavy items and boxes.

Moving companies that specialize in senior moving will help seniors feel calm and confident in their move. They will help make the process organized and smooth so seniors settle into their new space easier.

Update Important Documents

3. Update Important Documents

Several documents need to be updated before a senior relocates. Begin contacting offices and companies during the weeks leading up to the move, to ensure vendors have the senior’s updated address.

Making sure important documents are relevant and up-to-date isn’t just about convenience. It will also ensure the senior’s safety.

Make sure to review the following items to make sure any necessary changes are made.

Health Care

Before moving, make sure the senior will have any necessary health services in their new residence.

If the senior is moving outside of the province, make sure they will have health coverage. It is also important to update information for any additional health benefits or insurance coverage they are entitled to. Call their insurance company and update their policy.

It is also important to line up health providers in their new community and have all medical and dental records transferred to their new care providers.

If the senior relies on prescriptions, make sure they have enough on hand to last a few weeks. This will allow for time to get settled in. It’s also important to line up prescription refills with a local pharmacy so they have access to necessary medication.

Legal Documents

In the weeks before the move, review any relevant legal documents.

Make sure the senior has drafted a will and reviewed any existing will before their move. Allow them to make any necessary updates. Help to ensure their will is up-to-date and affairs are in order.

This is also an opportunity to review the powers of attorney and ensure they are satisfied with their legal arrangements.

Taking care of these items may feel difficult at first, but it will help to reduce stress and high blood pressure during the move.


Update the mailing address and location of any utilities to ensure services will be provided at the new residence. This includes insurance, hydro, water, cable, and internet.

Arrange for technicians to visit the new location during the move wherever necessary. This will help your loved one adjust to their new home faster.

Driver’s Documents

If the senior is still driving, make sure they visit the driver’s license office to update their address.

They will also need to update their car insurance.

Mail Forwarding

Make sure the seniors have mail forwarding purchased in the months following their move.

This will ensure important communication is still received. It will also ensure that important items like government pension programs are sent to the proper address.

Moving Tips to Prepare a New Home Safely

4. Moving Tips to Prepare a New Home Safely

Loved ones must be safe in their new home.

Before a senior settles into their new home, it is important to review the new space for any potential safety risks.

Check stairways and walkways to ensure there are no slipping hazards. Check that the doors lock securely. Make sure the home is well-lit and accessible for their needs.

Add grab bars and banisters or tape down rugs. And make sure any toxic chemicals or medication are stored safely if that is a concern.

It also helps to set up a social network or support system in the new location. This will provide a supportive community for the seniors in their new home.

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