Three Steps To Avoid Transfer Trauma When A Parent With Dementia Moves Houses

Transfer trauma is the term used to describe a person who has a difficult emotional time after moving house. Your father has dementia, and you know you need to move him away from independent living for his safety, but how do you do that without causing mental anguish? These tips will help you pack up and move your parent's home contents in a way that does not add further confusion to their already challenging life.

Be transparent

It is already hard for your dad to remember where he has put things around the house, but after you pack their belongings into boxes, it creates distress and more confusion. One way to get around this issue is to pack as many things as possible in clear plastic storage boxes. Write a list of the box contents on the lid to also help find belongings without fuss. This clarity of item location helps your father to feel in control.

Familiar settings

Even though the new house is different, arranging your dad's furniture in similar positions to his old home will help invoke memories of the familiar. Take photos of each room in the old house, and get the moving company to place the furniture items in the corresponding room in the new house. This makes it quicker and easier for you to arrange the furniture after unloading the truck.

Take dad out on moving day

The unfamiliar faces of the removalists combined with the removal of belongings from home are like to create anxiety in your dad on moving day. If you have a partner, friend, or family member you can rely on, ask them to take your dad out of the house for the day, so he does not witness the controlled chaos moving day brings. Once the moving truck has arrived and unloaded at his new home, then take him over to begin the task of unpacking.

Finally, let the removalists know that they are moving the house contents of a person with dementia. While nothing phases a removalist, giving warning that you have extra needs like the particular placement of furniture will help the removalists to plan the location of where they pack things in the truck. Additionally, if your dad does show any erratic behaviour because he does not know their identities, it won't come as a shock to the movers, and there's no chance of misunderstanding or offence.