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If we had a question, problem, or needed advice we turned to Mom and Dad!  As our parents age, we need to step in to help BUT when and how?

Every Sunday, our large family would get together at my in-laws home for dinner. As the years passed, the wonderful cooking we had grown accustomed to began to taste different and not enough food was being prepared.  During kitchen cleanup we began to notice out dated and mouldy food in the fridge.  It was at this point we started rotating Sunday dinners among our houses and Mom went from being the host to being a guest.  We accomplished this in a gentle manner so that we didn’t hurt her feelings as she gave up making these dinners.  This shift also ensured that she had one healthy nutritious meal each week and that none of us got sick.  As I think back, this was the beginning of our roles changing.

parents_movingDuring a doctor’s appointment her son attended with her, the topic of driving came up.  A written driver’s test was ordered to be followed by a road test. Mom never made it to the road test as no passing grade was achieved on the written portion.  She blamed her son for taking away her license and therefore her freedom, not the fact that she could not pass the exam herself!  Was this the right time to step in or should we have waited until someone got hurt or even killed?  I felt sad for my husband as she mentioned the loss of her driving every time we saw her, until she finally forgot.

A family I recently worked with had all the best arrangements in place for their mom.  Her medications were blister packed and delivered by the pharmacy, home care was coming twice daily to administer her medication at the correct times, a companion service had been hired to come three times a week for company, there was bathing assistance, light housekeeping, meal preparation, a laundry service coming once a week, and nutritious meals were being prepared and delivered by her daughters along with any groceries or items she needed.  The family was in daily contact with their mom and only minutes away if she needed them.

During a visit the daughters found out that their mom was also paying someone in addition to everything else that was set up. This particular “friend” would “help” mom out, drive her places, stay for afternoon tea and a visit, go pick up unneeded groceries and supplies, take out the garbage, etc. In return, their mom was paying this person for the help.

The daughters decided that it was time for a heart to heart talk with their mom, worried she was at risk of someone taking advantage of her financially. Soon afterward, a Power of Attorney was appointed, and the extent of the story started to unfold.  The “paid friend” had accepted a brand new truck, new mattresses for her and her family, and an unknown amount of cash.  Once the access to cash was gone so was the “friend!”

This family had done EVERYTHING right- they had arranged everything that was needed to keep their mom comfortable and did not feel they needed to take over her finances as she was still of sound mind, and yet the actions of an unscrupulous friend went unnoticed.  Once again…when do we need to parent our parents?

The best advice I can give is to help your eyes, ears, and nose open.  Do not let the little changes pass without some investigation.  An open dialogue with your parents on a regular basis will help you notice small things that may seem insignificant at first.  Grab the milk out of the fridge yourself and notice anything out of place.  Take note of how clean their clothes are and if the home is in order. Ask questions about their service providers. Remember that they are your parents and do not necessarily want to give up that role by asking their children for help, so you’ll want to do these things gently, but they still have to be done.

We recently completed a project for Alex (not his real name), a client who was away on vacation when his mother passed away. Since she had been living in a long term care facility, we needed to get Mrs. B’s room emptied and her possessions packed up and moved out almost instantly. That’s what we do, and so that’s what we did.

Mrs. B came from a great family who loved her dearly. Since she was a centenarian – more than 100 years old that means – her son Alex had hesitated for years to take his family on a big holiday “just in case” something might happen while they were away. But Mrs. B wanted her family to take the holiday, explore the world, and spend time together, so she encouraged her son Alex to book the tickets and get going. With some reluctance but looking forward to plenty of fun, off they went.

moving mom while family is on vacation

A few weeks into their vacation, Alex called us in tears to say that his mom had passed away and he was overseas. He asked if we could pack up her room and deliver her personal possessions to his home, and to take anything suitable for donation to a local charity. We got everything done very quickly, and thanks to how easy it is to communicate by phone and email, Alex was in touch with us throughout the process, without having to catch an immediate flight home. This is exactly what we mean by our motto where “we take your move personally.” We treated Alex’s situation as if it was one unfolding in our own family. His mom’s things were moved quickly and efficiently, and the facility was able to prepare the space for a new resident in need of a high level of care within a couple of days. Alex and his family completed their vacation together, in a form of tribute to his mom and their grandma.

Moving in winter challenging for seniors There’s nothing like a small skiff of snow, some ice pellets, or a strong north wind to help you recognize how tough winter moves can be in our region. This is no small matter for seniors who need to move in the winter. Along with icy walkways, it gets harder for people, and especially seniors, to move around easily and safely when you are also bundled up in bulky coats, scarves, and boots. Winter weather really can make a simple move more complicated than  it would be during other seasons, and things can get really tricky if you are all bundled up, trying to carry a big mattress to the truck when the wind picks up.

At Elder Move Inc. our job includes taking the stress out of your move. Instead of encouraging you to do it all separately, we are your one stop shop whether you are downsizing and organizing to stay where you are, or you are moving into a new home. Winter makes things more slippery, sure, but we’re very used to coordinating all the logistics, from arranging our team, bringing packing materials, booking elevators, directing moving trucks into loading docks, and we’ll even make sure we know where we’ve packed your cup and saucer or coffee mug.

As a qualified company of senior move managers, we help with more than just packing and moving. We answer all kinds of questions, arrange for other coordination between building managers, nursing units, and social workers. We can help sell your unwanted items, and donate things to local charities that happily put them to good use. We can also ship your heirlooms to family that are living in other cities. We want to provide you with the support you need so that when you’re all settled into your new space and looking at the snow that blankets the ground outside, you’ll think to yourself, “Hey, I am so glad they did all that work and I didn’t need to.”

Seniors supported by caregivers and senior move managersWhen it comes to your new space, we do also provide unpacking services. That way there are no boxes or wrappings to be getting in your way.

If you are living in or moving to other areas, you can access qualified referrals to other senior move managers by contacting the National Association of Senior Move Managers. If you’re living in or moving to Edmonton, Alberta or the central Alberta area, we’d love to speak with you. Just call us at (780) 668-9767, or use the contact form here on our site.

Elder Move Doll House on display at trade show  We were pretty excited to be part of a big trade show about two weeks ago. We met hundreds of people that day, and the energy in the room was inspiring! This was the 5th annual Fabulous@50 event, and our second year there, so we even became a sponsor this year. Pam Robertson, Ph.D. delivered a presentation on developing resilience that really had a lot of great ideas people can use to develop new habits as well as encouraging those habits in our children and grandchildren. I am not so certain I will take up her suggestion of singing exactly, but I can relate to how better breathing is helpful so I am thinking about taking up the trombone and seeing how that goes. I do find myself humming louder in the car than I used to do, and I know that there were other elements that I am going to use from her presentation. Being resilient is an essential life skill.

Andrew Campbell of Invision Reproductions sponsored us by donating a beautiful digital frame plus an additional gift of 1000 photos or slides scanned for no charge! Thank you Andrew, for being such a great supporter of Elder Move Inc. and your gift. The winner was really excited when I called about their prize!

Laurie Toth of Flower’s by LaTerre’s created a stunning bouquet of flowers inside of a giant teacup, which I presented to Pam as a gift after she spoke for us. Pam reports that the arrangement lasted beautifully and was still going strong a week after the trade show!  Flower's from Laurie Toth of Flower's by LaTerre's

I love the energy of a trade show, and there were plenty of baby boomer’s at this one, many of whom are helping their parents – who are seniors or the elderly – to downsize, organize, and get things coordinated in their homes or relocated to a new space. That’s exactly what we do, in between trade shows of course!

We get asked this question a lot: “What do I do with my mom / dad / grandparent? They won’t let go of anything!”

Our things are all attached to other things – a memory, a moment, and sometimes guilt. We hear comments such as, “I can’t get rid of that! My mom gave that to me on my 16th birthday, and I know I never use it, but I can’t just throw it out!”

Instead of feeling guilt over an item that is adding to your clutter, we suggest that you give yourself permission. Give yourself permission to hold the item, to appreciate that your mom, or best friend, or long lost uncle gave it to you. Then, remind yourself that it really is something that you do not use or need, and therefore it probably needs a new home. Next, you can kindly, sensitively, release the item from trappings of guilt or obligation and pass it along.

If this seems too hard to do, try the following tips:

  • Give yourself a break! Sometimes we are trying to downsize but we’re not able to get rid of things that are special to us or that we think we might use in the near future. If you really aren’t ready to get rid of something, set it aside and keep it in a pile that you label “essentials”.
  • After you have finished sorting, take another look at your “essentials” pile. Are the things in it all still essentials? If so, put them away or pack them to prepare for your upcoming move. If the things aren’t really essential and you decide that there are some that you can part with, add them to your donation or rubbish pile.
  • Are some items more essential than others? Which ones are your absolute must haves? Do all the items fit nicely in your new space (if you are moving) or fit in your existing space? If not, are some items in good condition so they could be useful to someone else? (Sometimes, knowing that the items could be useful to someone else can make it easier to pass them on.)

Downsizing is not an exact science, and there is no way to make it easy for everyone, but it doesn’t have to be painful. We can help you make it easier.

Senior relocation services play an important role in easing the transition for an elder’s move in Edmonton. Leaving your home is never easy, and to reduce the stress of moving for older people, senior moving services are now available. These Senior Relocation services have the expertise and resources required for senior move management, transition, and relocation in Edmonton and surrounding areas.

Senior relocation services are dedicated in helping seniors or older people and their families with the overwhelming process of downsizing and moving to a new residence. Senior relocation service providers are specialists who have great experience with helping the elderly move, and possess commitment to safety and ethics required for the complex process of moving seniors. Senior relocation service providers are compassionate people with expertise required for a move and yet are affordable.

It is not easy moving from your own home to a senior’s home and or assisted living, thus a great deal of help is required to deal with the situation not just emotionally but also physically. Seniors have lived and collected things over the years that they do not want to let go of, and when moving to a new home, these things typically need to be limited and downsized. This is where a senior relocation service comes in handy.

At any age and under the best of circumstances, relocation is stressful. Dealing with the planning, packing, and paying for the relocation is one thing, but the emotional cost of relocation can be fairly traumatic.

In the elderly these symptoms can quickly become exacerbated by dementia, mild cognitive impairment, poor physical health, frailty, lack of a support system and sensory impairment. There are questions that need to be asked prior to a senior relocation:

  • Does the senior understand why they are being relocated?
  • Did he/she participate in the decision making?
  • Can he/she see and hear well enough in their new environment?
  • Does he/she have anyone to assist them pack or move?
  • Will they remember that their current location will no longer be their home?
  • Can he/she keep his/her doctor, friends, plants, or pets?

We can help to lessen relocation anxiety by respecting the individual, telling them that it is an adjustment, and letting them know that it will take time. Each individual is unique and will make adjustments at his or her own pace. Allowing as much time before the move will help prepare them.

In an age of hectic schedules, families also feel the strain of moving the loved one. Many families no longer live close at hand and the sandwich generation is being pulled in multiple directions on any given day. There are professionals who specialize in relocating seniors. Call Elder Move Inc, senior relocation specialists who can help mitigate the issues involved in Senior Moving and make the transition painless.


Arranging for a Senior Move can be a hectic experience for the senior and their family.  Over the years most seniors accumulate a lot of possessions, some of them useful but often including items that they no longer need or will have space to store.  Making the decision to get rid of such items can be tough. For some senior’s the item holds sentimental value in addition to being practical.  At Elder Move, we help prioritize the importance of each item and carefully explain and work with the senior to help them downsize.  We ensure that the process is respectful, and that the move is completed with only important items and not items that no longer hold the value that they once did.

Family members are sometimes put in the tight spot of making the decisions for their parents or elderly relatives and most of them get uncomfortable being put in that position.  That is why using a company such as Elder Move who have experience in the field and know how to deal with the delicate situation, can help tremendously.  We understand the needs of the elderly, their temperaments, and their potential anxiety dealing with the actual move itself.  Elder Move is staffed with trained professionals who handle the senior’s move with care and attention to avoid conflicts within family.

Contact us now to see why a Senior Move through Elder Move is your best option.

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