It is likely that your parent has lived in his or her current home for many years and has developed strong ties to community, family, friends, healthcare providers, social life and daily routine. Packing and moving out of their home is a significant chore for anybody, but for an older adult with decades of memories and possessions, moving can represent a tremendous emotional challenge. Furthermore, leaving one’s own home represents a decrease in independence and signals a new life stage. This can cause great sadness and cause a delay in the decision to relocate. While you help pack their decades of history, talk through the difficult feelings, acknowledge the loss that your parent is experiencing and reassure him/her that you are making the best decision possible. Allow time and opportunity for them to reminisce. Reassure them that you will still be involved in their life regardless of their living arrangements.
Despite the challenges, many adult children find that providing support and care for their parents is one of the most rewarding experiences they have ever had and provides you with the extraordinary opportunity to give back what your parent once provided to you. Grandchildren have the unique opportunity to learn and absorb family history and maybe even learn things about family that they never knew before. Your parent will need time to adjust to his/her new living environment and role with your family. Your patience and support will help make this transition smoother.