September 13, 2010

Tip #1: “Queen for a Day”

If you are a Boomer like I am then you may recall this TV show that ran in the late fifties/early sixties. It was an early “game show” where women vied to gain the title and a lot of great prizes.

What is the connection to moving seniors? Last week we moved Ruth and Ed, a couple in their 80’s, to a Retirement Residence. Their son and daughter-in-law were also there during the process, helping to get things organized. From the time I arrived to start the packing it was clear that Ruth was suffering from a lot of anxiety about the move. As I had time to assess the situation I realized that it was because she wasn’t in control of the process. Her health had weakened and she really didn’t have the physical or emotional strength to make all the decisions and make things happen. However, that is exactly what she had spent her whole life doing. And she felt horrible that she couldn’t be in charge of the overwhelming task at hand.

So what to do? My suggestion is to tell the senior in your life that they’re going to be “Queen (or King!) for a Day” or two. For move day, plan an interesting outing that includes events that your “queen” or “king” would love to do.  If you are managing the move you may need to enlist the help of friends or other family members to go with that special someone. Include an overnight stay so that when your “queen” or “king” arrives at their new home everything is unpacked and set up so that it looks a lot like home. You may not be able to put everything together exactly as they would have liked, but it will be good enough, and it will be a place for them to start as they make it their own.

The key to getting through the stressful event of a move is to make it fun. So treat the senior in your life like royalty, and give them a day they’ll never forget… a good way!

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