Guides in Moving Long Distance With Elderly Parents

by Editor on April 24, 2013


Last summer, my sister Ahndry informed me that she was going to be assigned to Tokyo by the next month. I understood right there and then that what she was actually saying is that our parents should be moved to our bespoke home in Toronto. For the past five years, my sister has been taking care of our parents, Manol and Jane, in her little home in Vancouver. However, she got promoted in the software company she’s working for, and had to relocate to Tokyo. Our parents made sure that she had nothing to worry about, but she knows that Jane will not be comfortable leaving them in the hands of other people. I felt the same way so there was no need for a discussion; we immediately planned their big move.

Our parents are in their early 70s. Though they are still strong and healthy (thankfully), long travels can really stress them out. Whenever we take vacations, they easily feel tired and my Dad often experience asthma attacks. So during their big move, my sister and I wanted to make sure that their relocation went as smooth as possible. If you are scheduled to move your elderly parents soon, then the following tips will help you. Some of these we were able to do, while the others are the ones that we learned we should have done.

First off get a really good moving company that comes recommended as this saves a lot of hassles and gave my parents a lot of reassurance. They had a lot of memories and mementos as well as some other items of sentimental value and furniture. Other things we had to put into storage as there was too much to come to my automated home. But as the storage is with the movers they can visit whenever they wish and take their time to find homes for everything or sell some things.

Before the Move

  • Brief your parents about the new area. Moving from one province to another can be as scary to your elderly parents. The thought of being in an unfamiliar place will also make them worry about fitting in and stuff. This is why before moving, I made sure that our parents knew what to expect in Toronto. I also told them about the culture and the things that they’re going to like in their new home.
  • Ask your parents’ doctors about it. One of the first things we did when the plan became final was to go to their doctor and ask if it’s going to be safe for them to move. When they said yes, we asked about the medicines that should be kept handy and the other activities that they should and should not do.

During the Move

  • Make sure that someone is beside them during the travel. Since the travel was mainly by land, our parents had to endure some time at the back of the car. During our first stop (we had a lot, by the way), our Mom asked if one of us could sit beside them to keep them company.  This also allowed them to ask for water or to go to the next rest stop to go to the comfort room.
  • Keep the medical supplies handy. As I’ve mentioned about, our Dad usually get asthma attacks when we travel. And the move was not an exception. Good thing we chose to bring his nebulizer with us, instead of going with the other things transported by the movers.

After the Move

  • Give them a lot of rest. While I was eager to bring them around the city, I let our parents rest for a few days to recover from the long travel. It was only after a week when I brought them around refreshed and excited to explore their new industrial styled home.

About the Author

Joan Taylor is a blogwriter for on a range of issues related to travelling, long distance moving, and families.

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