Tag Archives: seniors

Senior Citizens Day: Tips for Senior Moving

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Senior Citizens Day

Moving your elderly relatives into a new place can be a really daunting task, whether they are moving downsizing into a smaller home or moving to a senior residential community. The packing, physical labor of moving, and unpacking can be stressful to anyone, and especially to seniors who are moving a whole lifetime of collected memories and keepsakes. In honor of Senior Citizens Day this week, we wanted to share some advice on successfully completing a move with a senior.

Communication is key

Most seniors develop emotional attachment to their house and possessions, and having to say goodbye can make them feel as though they have lost their sense of control in life. Give them plenty of time to grieve and then slowly start shifting the conversation to the new living situation. Keep the conversation positive as you talk about where they are moving and why the change will be good. Your excitement can rub off on them and help them see the benefits of their situation.  Let them know each detail of their move day ahead of time, such as the people who will be there, the timeline of how the day will progress, and your plans for unpacking and “nesting” in their new home to help ease their mind.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK senior movingPlan well

How big is the new residence? Which belongings of your relative will be able to fit, and what will need to be donated or thrown out? Look at the dimension of the new house or senior living space and really plan out the layout of the new place. Talk with them and pin down exactly what they want to take and where they want to put each item of furniture. Not only will this planning process help your movers work efficiently, but it can also help set your family member’s expectations about their new home.

Reach out to relatives and friends

Any type of move is a huge transition, and especially for a senior who hasn’t relocated in many years. Reach out to the siblings and other members in the family who can help relieve the stress and encourage the senior in this time of change. Even getting the kids involved can be a good idea–there’s nothing like grandchildren to take your mind off a daunting task! It may even be necessary to schedule the senior relative to spend the day with another family member as you coordinate Moving Day. This way, he/she can enjoy the day without having to direct the movers, travel between the old and new residences, and go through the stress of watching their belongings move out of a beloved home.

Time to organize

Moving a senior most likely involves downsizing, and you need adequate time to sort and pack up each room. It’s time to decide what to keep, what to ditch, what to donate, and what to pass on. Remember you are packing up lots of memories–not just “things.” Be extra sensitive as you help them sort through their precious memories and make those tough decisions of how to get rid of old belongings. You can help ease the pain by suggesting the unneeded items be donated to a cause your relative cares about passionately. And geriatric experts even recommend encouraging your senior family member to relive memories as they go through the downsizing process. Recalling happy times can bring closure more quickly than trying to suppress those emotions.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville can pack up your cabinets or shelvesGet help from the professionals

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK, we offer specialized senior moving services, and all of our movers go through a special Senior Sensitivity Training before ever going on a move. We even offer a senior discount for these moves! And we offer all-inclusive packing and unpacking services for older customers who can’t physically handle the work. Give us a call or text at 615-248-6288 and we’ll take care of the rest!

How to Make a Senior Move Easier

5 tips for moving a senior

Over the 21 years we’ve been in business, we’ve seen Nashville transition into becoming a hot spot for seniors to settle into their retirement.  Every year, the number of seniors we move increases!  So we want to share some of the knowledge we’ve picked up about how to make the stress, and sometimes the trauma, of senior moving easier to handle.

Charity move for Nashville Rescue MissionFirst, while you prepare for the big relocation, lighten your to-do list by making a meaningful donation.  Donating unneeded furniture and belongings will be especially helpful if your senior friend or family member is downsizing significantly.  He can feel good about contributing to a cause close to his heart, while simultaneously saving time and money to move everything out of his old home.  Depending on the type of charity the senior wishes to support, he may even be able to have these belongings picked up for free.  Here’s a partial list of some of the local Nashville non-profits that are willing to provide free pick-up of large donations:

  • Safe Haven Family Shelter — One of our favorite non-profit partners, and the only homeless shelter in Middle Tennessee that is able to accept whole families, without splitting them up among Men’s and Women’s & Children’s shelters.
  • ThriftSmart — Another one of our partners, ThriftSmart is a local thrift store that donates all of its profits to local non-profit organizations serving the Nashville area.
  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore — The ReStore is also a thrift store, exclusively selling furniture and decor items, and all of its profits benefit the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK offers packing servicesIf the senior being moved has extreme physical limitations, consider hiring a company to pack her belongings instead of having her pack everything herself.  Even though most seniors can take care of themselves without issue during a normal day, packing everything she owns into boxes during a limited period of time can be tiring or even painful.  Think about how much bending, stretching, kneeling, and lifting can be involved in such a job.  Most professional moving companies will also offer packing services.  In fact, if you schedule our company to complete the packing for your friend or family member, our packing rates are all-inclusive of the supplies our movers need to pack everything.

Appoint an on-site representative the day of the moveWhen planning the move, consider the option of appointing an on-site representative for Moving Day, instead of having your senior friend or family member take charge.  This is especially important when a senior is making a major transition away from the home he’s been living in for decades, is being forced to move due to new health limitations, or is undergoing a dramatic downsizing.  Having his adult child or another representative coordinate the activities of Moving Day can allow him some time to process and accept the life change taking place.

And while you’re making all the move arrangements, be sure to coordinate with the new community the senior is moving into.  She may not be moving into an assisted living community, hospice care, or any other sort of “retirement community,” but even Nashville’s condo and high-rise apartment complexes appreciate your communication while scheduling moving plans.  In our experience, assisted living communities prefer that move-ins only take place outside of meal times, so movers won’t block the elevators from transporting residents to the dining area.  Many complexes have a cut-off time in the afternoon/evening, after which the rest of the move must be delayed until the next day.  Some communities located in more congested areas of town have certain places they need moving trucks to be parked, and certain high-rise buildings require you to schedule the block of time you wish to use their elevator for the move.

Moving into an assisted living facilityFinally, when it’s time to schedule the movers, be sure to communicate all of the senior’s needs and preferences.  If there are any special arrangements that he’ll need made, it’s best to let the moving company know as you book the move so the movers can be prepared when they show up on Moving Day.  During your scheduling phone call, you should also ask if the moving company is qualified to move seniors and if they have any special accommodations they provide for such moves.  For example, our company requires every mover to go through a Senior Sensitivity Training program before beginning to work in the field, all movers are background-checked and drug-tested, and we offer a senior pricing discount.

If you have any other questions regarding your senior friend or family member’s move, please give us a call at (615) 248-6288, or check out our website.

6 Tips on Downsizing Your Home

6 tips for Downsizing from TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville

Downsizing is often overwhelming as you face the question, How am I going to make decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of?  The task can be especially challenging when you’re walking an older relative or friend through the process, because every item seems to have a story behind it and they may not be excited about the upcoming move.  Here are some practical ways to make downsizing easier:

1. Before you start sorting, measure your new space.

Sorting through your things can be emotional, and you can save yourself some stress by measuring your larger furniture items and the space they would go in your new home.  If your couch won’t fit comfortably into your new living room, you can automatically count it out of the “Keep” category.  While you’re taking measurements in your new home, also take note of places you can add storage.  Where can you add storage and take advantage of unused space between walls?

2. Practice makes perfect!

Even if you’ve measured all of your furniture and know it will fit into your new home, it may not feel as comfortable in practice as the measurements suggest.  Take a large area of your current home and use painters’ tape to mark off the dimensions of each room from your new home.  Then try moving all of your furniture into this marked-off area to test what the actual layout will feel like.  (If you like this idea but don’t want to do all the moving around yourself, our movers can definitely help you with your mock-up scenarios!  We perform in-home moves all the time for interior designers and staging companies.)

Packing and sorting your things3. Ask yourself questions about each item that trips you up.

When you come across an item that you’re having trouble giving up, take a breath and think about why you want to keep it.

  • Do you want this object, or do you feel obligated to keep it?
  • Do you want to keep the item because it’s useful or because it has sentimental value?
  • Have you used this item in the past six months?
  • Did you intend to use the item before you were faced with the decision of giving it away?
  • Did the phrase “just in case” run through your mind?  (As in, “Maybe I should keep it just in case…”)

The answers to these questions can help you determine whether you really want to keep, donate, or throw away the object in question.

4. You don’t have to get rid of everything right away.

Start the sorting process early enough that you can focus on a manageable amount each day.  When you come across a piece that you can’t bear to give away, remember that you have the option of storing it somewhere else for a few months.  Give yourself a deadline, and when that day comes, ask yourself whether you actively missed the item while it was in storage.  If not, you can probably give it away without regret.

5. Give the things in your “Donate” category to an organization you believe in…

The Salvation Army and Goodwill are the two organizations you probably remember first when thinking about donating household items.  However, if you don’t feel an emotional connection to these groups, you should find a cause closer to your heart to make the process of giving away your stored-up treasures feel more fulfilling.  Our favorite local non-profit is Safe Haven Family Shelter because they’re the only homeless shelter in Middle Tennessee that accepts whole families into their program, instead of splitting the family up into separate Men’s, Women’s, and Children’s shelters.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville can move your furniture items.6. …Or, in the interest of time, give your “Donate” items to an organization that offers pick-up services.

Our movers are always happy to bring your donations to your preferred organization, and even to bring your “Throw Away” items to a trash site that you have verified will accept them.  However, some non-profits offer complimentary pick-up services.  For example, Goodwill is glad to take away large amounts of items or furniture from your home.  Additionally, through our partnership with Safe Haven, we are often able to offer free pick-up of your furniture donations to Safe Haven when our schedule allows.

Though downsizing sounds overwhelming at first, starting early and taking the process one step at a time will break up the stress of your move.  Always feel free to give us a call at 615-248-6288 or check out our website if we can offer any help!

5 Tips to Moving Seniors

tips for moving seniors

As the industry’s leading moving experts, we definitely understand the complications and stress that come with moving seniors.  These moves are unique because the seniors making the move are often downsizing at the same time, and they’re usually experiencing a huge life transition.  This is especially true when seniors move into assisted living facilities or into their children’s homes for the first time.  Over the years, we’ve learned a lot about how to handle these moves, from both the personal and business perspective.  Here are five suggestions that we have for your family as you prepare to move your older family member:

1. Realize and respect their emotions.

Even when your family member has been expecting this transition for a long time and knows that the move is needed, they’re still approaching a huge emotional roller coaster.  For many seniors, this will be the first large move they’ve ever made, or at least that they’ve made in a number of decades.  Their current home has lots of memories, and maybe even belongings, that they’re leaving behind.  Even though you know that this move needs to be made, let your family member know ahead of time that you understand how difficult it is on them, and that you’re there for support.

2. Try to lessen the trauma of downsizing.

Downsizing is a huge undertaking, because you’re asking your family member to leave much more behind than a typical move requires.  When moving a senior into an assisted living facility or into their child’s home, they’ll usually only have one or two rooms that they can fit their belongings into.  One trick we’ve learned to make the process easier is suggesting a bulk donation to a non-profit organization that serves a population they care for, instead of just throwing those items away or giving them to Goodwill.  This makes the senior feel that they’re contributing to a cause they believe in, as opposed to just getting rid of items.  Another suggestion would be temporarily moving non-necessities into a storage unit or into a family member’s garage for 3 months.  At the end of the three months, donate everything that the senior doesn’t actively miss.  (For example, if your elderly mother can’t remember a particular chest of drawers that’s been put into storage, it really isn’t a necessity that she’s likely to miss.)

3. Pick someone else to represent them on moving day.

If you know that your family member will have trouble watching their belongings being loaded onto a truck and then into a new home, it may be best to have their child, niece, nephew, or sibling on the moving site while you keep the senior preoccupied at a restaurant or shopping.  The on-site representative can deal with handling the payment transaction with the movers, let the movers know which items will go to the new home and which will be donated, and direct the movers in staging the furniture in the new home.  This will also help relieve the natural stress that your family member will be feeling on moving day.

4. On moving day, don’t shy away from talking about their current home.

Many people are afraid of distressing their senior family member by talking about the home they’re leaving, and they try to avoid that topic at all costs during moving day conversations.  However, we’ve found that letting seniors talk about their happy memories in the home can help ease them into the transition.  It can also help to talk about the new memories that will be made at the new home, and to refer to moving day in a positive manner rather than with a sense of apprehension.

5. Don’t talk to them like children.

We often feel as if we have to treat our senior family members like they’re children as they begin to age.  This is because their memory starts to fade, and they need increasingly more guidance as they get older, or because they’re starting to lose flexibility and strength.  Although we do sometimes have to direct seniors the way we direct children, it’s very important to never talk to them like they’re children.  With all of their life experience and wisdom, our senior family members deserve all of our respect.  Be sure to use a normal tone of voice instead of letting your voice become high-pitched (the way it might if you were speaking to a pet or young child) when reminding them to take their pills, bringing them back from a tangent into the conversation, or any other direction you may need to give them.

Ribbon cutting of the newly-branded Brookdale Belle Meade

We’ve completed hundreds of moves with seniors, and we know that each one comes with its own stressful circumstances.  If there’s anything we can do to be more sensitive or prepared for your particular move, please let us know these notes over the phone while booking your move!