Ting and I attended a very informative training this week put on by the Alzheimer Society. We found out the number of people who live with dementia in BC is over 70,000 and the risk for dementia doubles every five years after age 65.
Since our clientele is generally 75-105 years old, we need to recognize the signs of dementia and incorporate special techniques into our moving services to maximize the health and safety of our clients. We also need to use our experience and training to help family members avoid common pitfalls during the move.
The changes caused by moving from a familiar home to brand new surroundings can be terribly disorienting for anyone, much less for a person with memory loss and challenges with problem-solving.
If you’re facing this situation, this article from the Mayo Clinic offers great advice on how to prepare for a loved one’s move.
We wholeheartedly agree with all of the ideas in this article. Most importantly, when moving a person with dementia, special care and attention should be taken to prepare for the move, coordinate the move itself, and follow-up during the first few months after the move so that the transition can be as safe, healthy and low-stress as possible.
We Can Help
In our community, many elderly people do not have family members living nearby who can take these extra steps to make the transition as comfortable as possible for them. The good new is, we can help. We can also provide support to caregivers who need an extra set of hands on move day, advice on how to set up the new home, or we can get rid of things that can’t fit into the new home. Give us a call to find out more.
Act Together Moving Services
We are constantly inspired by our clients.They have lived through wars, depressions, revolutions and personal loss. When I say downsizing isn’t for wimps, I’m talking about this tough generation.
But when faced with having to give up personal treasures, collections and mementos from the past, even the toughest person can break down. Not only the sheer volume of stuff that needs to be dealt with can be terrifying, but the physical task of sorting, boxing things up and hauling them away is impossible to fathom.
Then add in the emotional drain of losing everything they hold dear, piece by piece. Each personal item might hold heavy meaning that hasn’t been fully processed, or reinforce a past loss, or remind them of their failing health.
It’s common for us to see adult children get frustrated by their parent’s behavior during the downsizing process. It is often a struggle for family members to remain patient during this process and emotions can run high.
This Might Help
If you are helping someone to downsize, here are some ideas that might help when your frustration starts to bubble over.
- Reflect on how this process is impacting your own sense of loss and identity, so that you can stay aware of your reactions. This might help you to remain calm and supportive rather than adding to the emotional turmoil in the house.
- Keep visits positive and upbeat, and remind your parents that you are on their team and that you want the best for them.
- if you feel yourself getting to the boiling point, change the channel. Pop out to your car to “grab something” and make a quick phone call to a supportive friend. Declare break time and make a cup of tea. Do something to lift your own mood.
- Keep “sorting sessions” to under two hours. Emotional fatigue that stems from too much decision-making can lead to someone saying something they might regret.
If all else fails, call in objective downsizing professionals like Act Together Moving Services
to consult. We’re trained to make this process go smoothly, and almost everyone behaves better when there is a guest in the house!
We’re giving a workshop on Saturday, February 15 at The Wellesley in Victoria. It’s purpose: to help people with elderly parents to prepare for their future move. Patrick and I are looking forward to delivering a fun and helpful workshop, class size will be kept quite small so we can be hands-on with individual situations going on with people in the workshop.