My friend Judy Klem works with seniors in Connecticut. She wrote this post for her site on ActiveRain. It is so relevant that I have re-blogged it here so that we can all benefit from her advice.
Moving is always stressful, no matter your age or health. But when the person moving is elderly, becoming frail, and perhaps exhibiting the early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s, the stress can easily escalate to full-blown panic. Downsizing from a home where they’ve lived for decades, followed by facing the confusion of waking in an unfamiliar home can cause a real downward spiral.
Fortunately, the techniques developed by Senior Move Managers can really ease the situation and help replace potential moving panic with the familiar comforts that mean home.
First, although it’s easy to think you’d be better off taking on all the work and letting Mom – or Dad – just sit and relax, this is not a good course of action. To the extent that your parent can make decisions, involve them wherever you can.
- Make sure your Mom has a tour of the place into which she’ll be moving. Try to make her comfortable with the tour, and ask for help from the staff person and/or the social worker. This is as much for your parent as it is for you, as the primary caregiver.
- As you go along, take photos and note how the room or rooms are laid out. Ask if there is a floor plan you can take away with you, as this will also be a good reference point for your planning.
- Don’t press your parent to do more than they can, but do try to answer – or get answered – whatever questions come up.
- Involve them in the process!
Sorting through the accumulated belongings of a lifetime is a large topic, so I’ll address the details of doing that in a separate post. For now, let’s look at what you do once you’ve got the essentials for your parent – and what those essentials need to include for Mom or Dad to feel comfortable in their new home.
To create a sense of familiarity, observe the day-to-day activities that are most important to your parent, as well as their favorite objects. Take photos of these objects as well as things like the insides of cabinets holding essential objects, and make lists, room by room, of the belongings they’ll need.
You’ll use both the photos and the lists to develop a plan to create a comfortable home environment in the new home. For example, the plan would include these:
- Bedroom - Set up with sheets, pillows, blankets and anything else your Mom usually likes to have on her bed.
- Try to have the bed positioned so that access to the bathroom is in a similar orientation to that at the home she’s leaving.
- Make sure the bed table is on the side she is used to, and includes the things she normally keeps there. Her bedside lamp, perhaps a spare pair of glasses, the book she’s been reading before going to sleep, and so on.
- Get the bed ready first in case the move is really exhausting, and your Mom would like to have a nap.
- Be sure to include artwork and photos that were in her bedroom before.
- Bathroom - Set up with towels and other objects as it was in the previous home, so it feels familiar.
- Set up the medicine cabinet in the same way it was in Mom’s previous home, so she can find everything easily. If prescription meds will be handled by staff, be sure to get all the correct information and medications to them.
- Hang towels and bathrobe, and any other things your parent is used to seeing in her bathroom.
- Include artwork from the previous bathroom.
- Kitchen - Use your photos and floor plans to good effect, and place glasses, cups, plates and so on in cabinets and drawers in as similar an arrangement as possible to the previous kitchen. If Mom is used to reaching for her favorite coffee mug in the cabinet to the right of the stove, make sure it’s in a similar place in the new kitchen. Handle all the objects in the kitchen in this way, and this will help to create a sense of comfort rather than panic at not being able to find everyday objects.
- Sitting Area or Living Room – Bring key pieces of furniture from the previous home, as allowed by the assisted living facility.
- Be sure to include the pillows and throw blankets, as well as the things needed for your parent to continue the activities they normally enjoy.
- Books, music, crossword puzzles, knitting, crocheting, magazines. Anything your parent uses regularly and
- gets pleasure from should be included and set out in a similar way so it’s all easy to see, and feels familiar.
- Be sure to include photos of family and friends. Mom or Dad will enjoy looking at these, and this activity can help when there are some memory problems.
These are just some of the ways you can help replace the panic that can ensue from moving house with a sense of familiarity and comfort. Your senior move manager can be a good resource for this type of information, and can also lend a hand if the work proves to be too much for family members to complete on their own.Remember, there are many sources for help and information available to you. You don’t have to go it alone!
From my Email In-Box: Replace Mom’s Moving Panic with Familiar Comforts
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Information and content in this blog is Copyright © Judy Klem
The Skateway is now open and ready for skate enthusiasts. What a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the Rideau Canal in Ottawa. The Skateway is 7.8 km long. It begins near Canada’s Parliament Buildings and goes along commercial and residential areas to a large manmade lake – Dows Lake. The water in the canal is lowered in the fall. In the above photo, you can see the cement sides to the canal, the bridges that cross it and in the background the very beautiful Chateau Laurier, a top rated hotel in the country.
For the past couple of weeks, we have had low enough temperatures to have the ice thicken. When it reaches a good depth, the canal is flooded (from water pumped up from below the ice), leveled as much as possible, scraped and snow removed after every snowfall. Thousands of people from around the world come to enjoy the canal and, in February, the Winterlude Festival.
If you don’t skate, then walk along the canal and ejoy the skaters, the children being pulled in sleighs, the kiosks for hot drinks and the souvenirs. tasty treats such as the now famous Beaver Tails and then there are the warm-up areas. Everyone with a camera has fabulous photos of skaters on the canal.
Come to Ottawa to enjoy our winter.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/robbie1/99922517/
Realtors know what the Granny Factor is. Buyers know it to see it. The Seller cannot see a problem. The Granny Factor is anything that says it was purchased in the 1960s or earlier and has not been updated. Why did the owner not update? Because good money was spent on perfectly good things. What are these things? Let me throw out some ideas:
1. The fuzzy bath mat, toilet tank cover and matching toilet lid cover. Subject of a previous post and here is what one persons decided was a better use for the bath mat….
2. Lace curtains (unless you live in Ireland).
3. Doilies. I bet you thought they have all been tossed but not so.
Photo credit: Welcome Bath Mat?
Photo credit: Lace Curtains
Photo credit: Swan Doily
Photo credit: Husqvarna green stove
Sale in Bells Corner/Lynwood Village/Arbeatha Park (MLS® areas 7803-7805) were slightly up from the previous year.
All Sales Year over Year
The prices in this area of Ottawa have remained very reasonable. The homes were built in the early 1960s. Only one residential unit that sold last year was built after the mid-1960s. These homes all had between 3 and 5 bedrooms and most were bungelows. The Days on the Market ranged from 1 – 106 with the average being 22 days.
Residential Sales 2010
|# of units||
|8||$250,000 – 299,999|
|20||$300,000 – 399,999|
|1||$400,000 – 449,999|
There are a number of condo developments in this area. Last year 28 of the 29 were row units. The other was a stacked unit. The average price was $189,786. The Days on the Market ranged from 2 – 161 with the average being 18 days.
Condo Sales 2010
|# of units||
|19||$150,000 – $199,999|
|9||200,000 – 249,,999|
Bells Corner continues to be a desirable neighbourhood for its easy access to the Queensway, its large yards and the abundance of undeveloped NCC property that surrounds the community.
Please note that these statistics do not include private sales and transfers and are provided only as an indication of the sales activity in an area.
In 2010, 88 units were sold and recorded on the MLS® for Old Ottawa South (MLS® areas 4403 and 4404). The comparison to the sales in 2009 is as follows:
For the 6 condos, the sold price ranged from $197,500 to $376,000 with an average of $298,400 and an average Days on the Market of 19 days.
The 78 residential units ranged in sold price from $338,500 to $1,169,000 with an average Days on the Market of 28 days. Only 6 of the 78 units were built since 2000. The number of bedrooms ranged from 2 to 6. For an idea of how many residential untis sold at each price range the following is provided:
|# of units||Price Sold at or Less than:|
These statistics are taken from the Multiple Listing Service®. They do not include any units sold or transferred privately.
Buyers talk about finding ‘the’ house, about a feeling when they are in some homes and sometimes they talk about karma. What they are really saying is that the home appeals to all of their senses, If you are putting your house on the market, look around your home for anything dead in the house and either toss it or pack it away for your next home. What should you take away?
- Stuffed animals and fish. Some basements are a museum to the owner’s hunting and fishing exploits.
- Skins. You might be surprised how many people have animal skins hanging on the wall or on the floor. Why alienate animal activist Buyers?
- Dried flowers and dried flower wreaths. You may have saved your wedding bouquet but that was then and this is now. Put the flowers away. Use fresh flowers, fruit and beautiful green leaves. Yes artificial flowers and trees last longer than real but they also say dead and dusty.
- Dead spiders and spider webs. If the spiders are not dead try a catch and release to the great outdoors. Think – NO BUGS!
- Don’t serve the dog a big knuckle bone during the sale. Either it is on the kitchen floor and looks yukky or it is out in the yard and makes Buyers wonder what has been killed.
- Urns with the ashes of deceased pets or family members. Yes, you have put the urn in a place of respect because of your love for the deceased. You may have even staged a little corner with flowers and photos with the urn. However, during the sale, it is best to move the shrine and urn to a new far less visible location.
- Finally, and most important during the fall and winter, check your mouse traps before every showing. You might go years without a mouse and then, just when you have a For Sale sign on the front lawn, the mice move in. Think – NO TRAPPED MICE.
Make your house overflow with life and vitality.
Photo credit: Hearst Castle – Stuffed Owl
I poured Spot Remover on my dog. Now he is gone.
May this new year bring us peace, health, love, friends, family, contentment, success, the sound of children laughing, tears of sorrow and of joy, challenges, hope, new interests, a sense of exploration, a bright future, things to look forward to and things to remember fondly.
Here is to a bright and prosperous 2011.