Critter Corner: Tips to Ease the Transition

Dear Commander Bun Bun,

My mother will be downsizing and moving soon. She has lived in the same home for 40 years, and does not do well with change. Do you have any tips for how we can ease her transition?

 Lee Vinhomme


 Dear Lee,

 Moving out of a place you are familiar with can be a challenge at all stages of age. It’s a big step, but in many cases, it is for the best. Oftentimes, individuals who do it say, “I wish I would have done it sooner.”

Here are some things you can do to ease the transition for your mother:

 • Give her time to accept the change and to grieve, if needed: Your mother is likely emotionally vested in the home she is leaving, and it’s expected that there will be sadness and apprehension about the move.

Talk with her about where she will be living and why she is moving.

Loss of independence: She may be feeling a perceived loss of control, so give her as much choice as possible as they plan and implement the move.

Plot the floor plan of her new home on graph paper, and cut out pieces to represent furniture, so she can feel more at ease about where everything will go when she gets to her new place.

Enlist help from your family: Encourage siblings or other close family members to take a few days off of work. Surround you mother with support and encouragement to ease the emotional stress of moving.

Sort, organize, and downsize: Go through the house item by item with your support team. You can categorize objects to make the process easier: items to be moved, keepsakes to be left with family, items to be sold or donated, and items to be thrown out. Honor the emotional attachment to personal belongings and allow your mom to reminisce as you help sort out her possessions.

Plan the Moving Day: A full service mover is the easiest way to go, but also the most expensive. They will load everything, deliver to its destination and put things in place. Families can save money by using a self-service mover, which means their family will load the moving truck, but the cargo will be hauled by a professional mover.  Then there’s the do-it-yourself (DIY) option where you can rent a moving truck or trailer. If you do decide to haul everything yourself, consider arranging for your mother to fly to her destination.

I hop these tips with help ease your mom’s transition. Best of luck!

 Commander Bun Bun


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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.

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