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So you want your elderly parents to move? Don’t make these mistakes!

1. Personal Agenda

Our parents know us better than anyone else. They know our tactics and maneuvers and we can’t fool them. If moving a parent fits into your plan more than it does theirs, they will resist. Examine your motives for wanting your dad to move, determine if there is a way to help him stay home and facilitate that for a time if it is what he wants and he can remain safe.

2. Disregard their concerns

You know your mom has too many clothes, clothes that she no longer wears, but her main concern with the new community is that the closets are too small. Instead of telling her she needs to rid of all her clothes, try discussing options for modifying the closet in her new space. Double rods will increase hanging space and over-the-door shoe organizers can help with floor space. Just ackknowledging her concerns will put you on the same team.

3. Blunt talk

You don’t want the dining room set, your daughter doesn’t want Grandma’s china, but mom will not hear of donating these items. Telling mom that the styles have changed and no one wants these old things can be paralyzing to someone who remembers saving for years to purchase these items in the first place. If you really want mom to move, tell her you will work on finiding homes for her important items.

4. Rushing

We live fast-paced lives. We move quickly, we talk quickly, we even eat quickly! When our parents reach their 70’s and 80’s, they are not moving as fast as we are. Thinking things through is what they do now. They have time and they take their time. Rushing them to make decisions or even to share their thoughts with you can be overwhelming for them. Try to prepare yourself before you call or visit. Minimize distractions, sit, don’t busy yourself, make eye contact if possible, and give them the attention they desire and deserve.

5. Guilt or scare tactics

Guilt and fear are mosters that eat away at many of us. Don’t use these techniques to get your parents to move. Do not say “if you fall and I find you, just think of what that will do to me” or “your never know who is watching you come in and out of your home.” Instead, help them understand the benefits of being in a safer environment. Say “It will be so nice to know that someone is close by if anything should ever happen” or “I love how you will never have strangers coming to your door again.”


PRESTO® is the first and only one-stop senior transition service. We can help you pack, move, and resettle your belongings, then clean out, repair and sell your home. Our goal is to make this a worry-free experience for you and your loved ones. Let us customize a plan for you! Call 630-755-6488 for a free consultation.

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