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Many people dread the moving process as it can be time-consuming and tiring. Michael Longsdon of the organization, ElderFreedom, is especially familiar with the reticence seniors experience when it comes time to move into a new home. Between packing, labeling, and transferring belongings to a new location, many seniors will find themselves stressed about the task, particularly if they have limited support resources. Below Michael shares crucial tips on making moving manageable for seniors. Read on, his advice could help you even if you’re not a senior — but will certainly help an older loved one who is relocating.  

Helping Seniors Move

Hiring a Moving Company and Making a Packing Plan

Moving companies can take a lot of the burden out of the experience of relocating and PhillyLiving clients can utilize a complimentary concierge service called Our Moving Concierge to assist with all your moving needs. Within 24 hours, Our Moving Concierge can help with all the services you see below and more:

  • Gas/Electric utility set-up
  • Cable service set-up (with exclusive promotions)
  • Move quotes from licensed & insured movers (or, up to a 20% discount on rental trucks)
  • Change of address / DMV updates
  • Home theater/security/automation quotes
  • Renters Insurance quotes
  • Exclusive discounts from national and local retailers

If you’re not using a moving service, give yourself plenty of time to pack and come up with a strategy to simplify the process. Before packing, sort through belongings and pare down items that you do not wish to take to your new home. Seniors often find that the accumulation of materials over time can make the packing process more stressful. Donating unwanted items or giving them to family and friends can help reduce the burden and will make settling into your new home less complicated. PhillyLiving has many agents on the team who regularly assist seniors and can refer you to specialists to help you downsize if needed.

If you’re packing boxes yourself, be sure to pack them lightly to make them easier to carry and be sure to label each box so they can be easily placed in their proper areas. Plan to move furniture and other large items first and be sure to let movers and helpers do the heavy lifting to avoid injury. Safety is paramount for seniors before, during, and after the move.


Move Safely and Take Precautions

Safe moving means thinking about each step of the process, from scheduling frequent breaks to avoid overexertion to wearing back support to remind you to lift with your legs. Stay hydrated, as the additional exercise may deplete you and cause greater fatigue and discomfort. Strive to do moving tasks just a few hours at a time, rather than trying to make a day of it. Wearing yourself out will make the entire process even more distressing, so be sure to pace yourself.

Once you have moved into your new home, you have the continued process of unpacking and finding a location for all your belongings. As with the packing process, set a strategy for yourself to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Unpack the essentials right away and establish your bedding and kitchen needs. Commit to unpacking two or three boxes each morning and another in the afternoon if you feel up to it. Seniors who create an unpacking strategy often find that it feels less stressful. Try to stay focused only on the task at hand so that you do not feel burdened by the larger job of unpacking and settling in. 


Michael Longsdon is the founder of ElderFreedom, which advocates for the rights and support of seniors. He provides tips to seniors on how to downsize and age in place. For more information, visit http://elderfreedom.net/.

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