How do I convince my mother to move to be closer even though she's overwhelmed with the thought of moving all of her stuff?

3 answers | Last updated: Feb 15, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

My mother lives in a huge house by herself in Missouri. (My father passed away thirteen years ago). I have tried to get her to move to Florida to be closer to me so I can help take care of her. She has come close to agreeing to the move until she starts thinking about all of her "stuff". My brother and I have tried to reassure her that we will take care of the details involving the move, but she won't move. My brother and I cannot afford to keep going there to help her. She wants me to stay for several months. I have my family and job to consider. What do I do to get her to finally agree to make the move?

Expert Answers

Donna Quinn Robbins is the author of Moving Mom and Dad and On the Road of Life, Drive Yourself. She helps individuals, families, retirement communities, and corporations make successful transitions through her company, Ultimate Moves. Robbins is an active public speaker on the topic of senior transition services and has appeared on NBC's Today Show.

Sometimes the best way to get a parent to move is to say "Let's move what you need right away, close up the house, and come back in a month or two to get everything else."

People think they need so much more than they actually do. If you can get her to move first, she will realize later on that she doesn't need all her "stuff."

You also need to be more firm. Tell her what you said in your question -- that caring for her is important, but you need to consider your job and your family. You must establish boundaries.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

As a Senior Move Manager (see the National Association of Senior Move Managers--NASMM), I have this book in my library, and several others listed below this posting.   Go to NASMM.ORG for more ideas on how to assist your parents.  The Senior Move Managers who belong to this national association often offer informational resources on their websites.  Sr. Move Mangers specialize in helping families make these tough decisions as well as arrange all the logistics.  As for Missouri moves, please contact me!  I'm in St. Louis.

Malloryw answered...

When we moved my grandmother closer to us it was a real challenge. She had a LOT of stuff. Since she was moving to a smaller place she selected the things that she wanted to take and the rest was put into storage. After she was here a while she realized she didn't need all of that and gave the ok to donate/ get rid of some of it.