Moving seniors…recognizing when it’s time to talk about moving

As a professional organizer who specializes in moving seniors, I get a lot of calls from the children of parents who have been aging in place in the “family home”.  But the big question is always, when is it time for our parents to move?

Many children live a distance from their parents and only come “home” for the holidays.  The tell me they are shocked by the condition of the house and their parents.  “When did mom stop cooking…cleaning…recognizing when things were out of control, and when did Dad stop opening the mail, paying bills on time or doing any of the things he use to do?”

Even if we live relatively close, it still seems we put on blinders or refuse to accept that our parents aren’t functioning the way they use to…and it’s not going to get any better.

This year the All Things Home Organizing™ team moved a couple in their 80’s who had convinced themselves that they would never leave their Berkeley Hills home.  However, both of them were suffering serious health issues, and finally, the wife could no longer even walk the steps into the house. On her last day in the house, the neighbors had to carry her up the steps…the EMT’s had to carry her down when she went off to the hospital, again.

Fortunately, they finally made the decision to move.  Their children had been urging them to move for years before, but it took a serious illness to get them moving.

If you had hip surgery…twice…could you negotiate the 22 steps from the street to the house?

If you had hip surgery…twice…could you negotiate the 22 steps from the street to the house?

Here are some signs that I see that seem to hold true with most of the seniors I work with:

1.  They stop cooking, cleaning, gardening, even hanging up clothing, as everything is too much for them.

2.  Their clothes are stained and they don’t notice…the house is a cluttered mess…and they don’t seem to notice.

3.  Food is long past it’s expiration dates. Bugs or mice may be overrunning cabinets.

4.  They may be shopping as entertainment and overbuying items they don’t really need or use.

5. Appliances or electronics may be broken or not function correctly and they don’t call for repairs or buy one to replace it.

6.  They stop doing regular activities that they use to always look forward to doing.

7.  The car has dents or scrapes and may not have had it’s scheduled services.  The car registration may even have expired.

8.  Bills are not being paid on time, or are being paid more than once during the month.  Mail is piling up unopened.

9.  Pets are not being cared for properly and may not have been to the vet in quite awhile.

10.  They are not visiting neighbors and friends and no one is coming to house to visit them.

Our senior client hadn't been opening the mail for what appeared to be years...

Our senior client hadn’t been opening the mail for what appeared to be years…

Just one of the several loads of recycling from our mail sorting sessions...

Just one of the several loads of recycling from our mail sorting sessions…

Our discovery was the he had been unable to role the recycling bin down his long driveway to leave it for pick up...

Our discovery was the he had been unable to role the recycling bin down his long driveway to leave it for pick up…

 

 


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