Moving Day, What To Do When They Refuse To Move?
Moving Day, What Do You Do When Seniors Are Rooted In Place?
So, new house built, check. We were all set to move Mom and Dad to their new home, right? Wrong.
When moving day arrived, my parents were frozen. They didn’t want to leave their old home even though it was a bad set-up for their needs. (How many trips we made to the dump to get rid of all their hoarded stuff is the topic for a whole new blog).
They were afraid of change. They had a beautiful new house they were afraid to live in. They were proud of the new house and liked to describe it to their friends, or really anyone who would listen, they just couldn’t initiate a move.
We realized there was no way they could move or live alone. We still hadn’t started to build our own house. We lived over an hour away from both their old or new house; too far for help. We knew we had to move in with them. They couldn’t live alone. Assuming this would be for a short time, we rented a moving truck and moved our essentials from our house to their new one. They still didn’t want to move.
Drastic measures were necessary. We arranged for friends to take the elders out to lunch. While they were gone we packed up their bed, clothing and personal items. By the time they returned from lunch their bed was gone and they had no choice but to move to their new home if they wanted to sleep that night.
Even though they loved the new house they mourned the loss of the old house and neighborhood where they lived for forty years. At the age 85 my dad had just retired from the company that employed him for over 50 years. That was another hard adjustment for him. Change is hard for all of us but even harder for elders. Multiple changes are especially hard.
This article is slightly technical, but easily readable, about seniors and major life changes
Because of Mom’s blindness, the change was even tougher for her. It took them nearly a year to fully accept their new environment. Gradually they made new friends in the area and learned to navigate in the new house.
For us it was difficult moving to a smaller house that wasn’t really ours occupying what was basically a spare bedroom with no en suite bath. Also we were fully responsible for all the upkeep. We often felt a lack of privacy and struggled with a loss of freedom as we now were responsible for someone else much as we had been when our kids were living at home.
That is how our caregiving story began. If you’re taking care of elders, how did your story start?