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10 Laws of Moving for Aging Parents and Their Families

Posted Oct 07 2008 7:17pm

Obstacle Once you've worked with a number of families and their aging parents and helped them through the process of moving there are some things you start to see over and over. Granted, every family and every circumstance is different, but there are themes that begin to emerge. It's important to talk about these themes. During a time in your life that feels crazy, and you're sure no one else has EVER gone through what you're going through...somehow it helps to know others experience the craziness too.

This article posted by Kathleen McGonagle of Rose's Daughters appeared at The Senior Housing and it captures the most common themes. 

The 10 Laws of Moving

  1. Moving is the least painful when the person moving sees a benefit to moving: focus on the gain, not on the loss.   
  2. Moving is a huge change:  Adaptation to change is in direct proportion to the feeling of control that the person has over the change. 
  3. Most people want familiarity in the new place: it needs to look and feel like the home they left.
  4. Everybody thinks they have a lot of stuff……except the people who really have a lot of stuff.
  5. Everybody saves something that to other people seems useless, unnecessary, etc.
  6. Senior men who are downsizing have different and greater challenges than women: they usually aren’t involved in hobbies and activities that easily move to smaller places, like sewing, knitting and cooking.  Men are more often vested in the workroom, the garage and the completed projects around the house and garden.  It’s harder for them to take what they love.
  7. Most seniors’ children don’t want their parents’ stuff. (And their kids won’t want their stuff, either.)
  8. More seniors don’t have enough in their home for an estate sale after they move.
  9. If you’ve lived in a house for long, you will probably need one dumpster for every 15 years that you’ve lived in the home.  Maybe more.
  10. The most economical way to empty a house, is often to donate what can be donated, and throw away the rest of it.
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