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How to Alleviate the Stress of Moving for Older Adults

Margit Novak | 2.13.09

Gilbert Guide


“There are certain experiences—childbirth is one; moving is another—that nature and time definitely draw a curtain on, so you forget in between times how painful they are.” Katherine Graham, famed publisher of the Washington Post, wrote this famous quote in her Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, Personal History. Most people believe that the joy of having children makes the pain of childbirth worthwhile, just as most seniors who relocate are happy with the outcome as well.


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Living Arrangements for Older Adults

Gretchen Heuring


Often, seniors are unable to accept that they can no longer live on their own. The facts just sneak up on them and they don't realize how much they need daily assistance of some kind.


This time is very hard on families because the children must become the loving parents, doing what is best despite the stated intentions of the older one.


Several years ago, three Universities joined together to study and write about this problem. The booklet, produced by Oregon State University, Washington State University, and the University of Idaho is still a valuable resource and we recommend it. "Living Arrangements In Later Life" is available for download.

>> Download

Real Stories Like Yours


The Berkeley Parents Network had an advice column about living arrangements for senior parents. You can't post to it any more and many of the help suggestions are for services local to Berkeley, but it's still on the web and there are some good ideas. Here are links to a few of the stories:


* My parents, in debt, want to move in with us >>More


*My husband wants his mother to move in with us >>More


*Elderly father moving in >>More


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Moving Mom


Moving an Aging America Forward

Mary Kay Buysse | Executive Director | NASMM


This excellent article provides more details about the Association and services of Senior Move Managers.>>Download



10 Ways to Prepare for a Smooth Move

American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) >>More

A free address-change service online >>More

Ecumen Logo


Affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Ecumen's mission is to create home for older adults wherever they choose to live.>> More

Ten Best Low Cost Retirement Towns in the US

It's possible to have better weather AND a lower cost of living. Emily Brandon, writing for U.S. News & World Report in June, 2007, lists the top ten bargain retirement spots in the US.


She says, "When you retire, you're obviously no longer tied to your job. Equally important, you no longer have to live where your job was. You're free to lie on the beach, explore the mountains, traverse a bustling city, breathe in the wide open spaces, or reside anywhere that strikes your fancy and-ah, yes-fits your budget." >> More

Moving Mom: Helping Older Parents Move

Gretchen Heuring | ElderThink | 03.24.09


Life brings us major moments; the birth of a child, the marriage of a sister, and helping older parents downsize and move. Moving our older folks is hard for everyone and the experience can be filled with many difficult events.


There is help at hand from professionals that specialize in moving seniors. According to Mary Kay Buysse, Executive Director of the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM), "Senior move professionals guide clients through a journey that's often as much about sorting through a lifetime's worth of memories as it is about possessions." >> More



Helping Parents Move



Seniors Move for Lots of Reasons

Gretchen Heuring | ElderThink | 03.01.10


There are many reasons why Seniors move to a new location. The may wish for a smaller home, or one that doesn't have stairs. The may want to be in a different climate where it's not so cold in the winter or so hot in the summer.


Seniors move to be closer to loved ones, or because the cost of living is better in another place. They move because they want to be in a Senior community or they want better or closer medical care.


But move they do, and those moves are usually a result of lifestyle changes such as retirement.


Sometimes Children Have to Make Decisions For Parents


It's hard on everyone when children discover that their parents need to move to a new place. There's help and advice, though. >>More


Most Often Seniors Handle Moves Themselves


Choosing where to live after retirement and making the move can be surprising difficult and stressful. Often a lifetime of memories has to be packed up and taken to a new location along with the people who have them. >> More

Moving Parents Into Your Home

Family Education Network


If you're thinking about moving an aging parent into your home, there are some things you'll need to consider. Keep in mind that, unless you live alone, your decision will affect your entire family. It's not one to be made lightly. For example, consider the following.

>> More

Relocating Your Parents

Family Caregiver Alliance


The need to relocate your parent to a safer environment may become apparent. But where should he or she live? Often your first inclination is to move Mom or Dad into your home—but this major life change deserves thoughtful examination, and there are many alternatives to explore. This Fact Sheet offers helpful advice and summarizes the issues to consider before making the important and challenging decisions regarding relocating your parent. >>More

Assisted Living vs Independent Living


There are a variety of choices besides moving your parents in with you. Slow down a little, because you will be entering a world with its own language. Here's a quick overview:


Independent Living describes a special community of older adults that might remind you of your college days. They come and go as they please and have their own furnishings, but have centralized meals delivered to them or in a community setting, transportation, social functions, cleaning services and laundry.


Assisted Living is just above a nursing home. Elders in assisted living usually require medical care, bathing and hygiene. Still, they are not bedridden and do not require full-time nursing or medical support. >> More

The Nationwide Movement Is To Keep Seniors in Their Own Homes As Long As Possible


For some, a nursing home is the only alternative. Huge changes have been made in the way nursing homes are arranged and managed. There's a lot of help when it comes time to decide too. >> More