Estate Planning

Moving An Elderly Parent to Another State: What To Know

Ty McDuffey


It goes without saying that moving an elderly parent to another state is a tough choice. 

Leaving behind memories and habits may be difficult for your parent, but relocating is often the best decision. 

Your parents may wish to relocate closer to you to see their grandchildren grow up. 

Or, it may be time to relocate if your parent begins to exhibit signs of needing help, such as financial problems or social isolation. 

In such a scenario, you need to take action and seriously consider moving your parents nearer to you.

Moving your parents to another state becomes less daunting when you have a clear strategy and adequate planning. 

Read this guide to help you get your plans in order, whether your parent is relocating to an assisted living residence, moving into your home, or downsizing to a senior apartment in another state.

Key Takeaways:

  • Consider relocating your parents if they need extra support, live far away, want to be closer to grandkids, are not socializing, or need to downsize their living space. 

  • The steps for moving an elderly parent from one state to another include holding a family gathering, choosing the best moving method, and planning ahead for healthcare needs.

  • When a parent moves in, it can change family roles and dynamics. You may need to take on additional responsibilities as a caregiver, which can impact your time and lifestyle.

  • Caregiving for elderly parents can be a rewarding experience but also a challenging process involving many responsibilities. Trustworthy can help ensure that important belongings, such as legal papers, are not lost.

Top Reasons to Consider Relocating Your Parents


The following are some of the top reasons to consider relocating your parents: 

They Need Extra Support

It might be difficult for your parent to admit they need more assistance with everyday chores like washing, cooking, and cleaning, especially if they are afraid of losing their independence. 

When things aren't as straightforward as they used to be, it's time to think about relocating and getting extra assistance with these duties.

A senior living facility geared to help elders and ensure their requirements are addressed while also maintaining their freedom may provide the support your loved one needs. 

Other choices include relocating your loved one close or into your home to aid them with their daily responsibilities.

They Live a Long Distance Away

It might be difficult to support parents who live far away. It is critical to be conveniently accessible if they need extra support. 

Moving an aging parent from one state to another can help you bring them closer to you. This enables you to be nearby for support and to be a part of their daily lives if necessary. The proximity also gives peace of mind in the event of an emergency.

They Seldom Get to Visit their Grandkids

Moving your parent to another state offers them more opportunities to visit their children and grandkids. 

If they relocate, your parents can attend important events such as a basketball game or a piano concert.

Your Parents Are Not Socializing

When your loved one isn't going out of the home as often, it might indicate that they aren't socializing or participating in activities. 

A lack of social interactions may contribute to loneliness or depression in many elderly people.

The possibilities for socializing are one of the most important benefits of any senior living facility. 

While adjusting to a new environment might take time, seniors frequently thrive once they build relationships and become a part of a community. 

Moving your parent to an in-state senior living facility allows them to visit you more often and promote socialization.

It’s Time to Downsize

Maintaining a large house with multiple unused bedrooms is a hassle to heat and cool. That can be a lot of resources spent for nothing for an elderly parent. 

Your parent’s house might also be difficult to keep up with. 

Mowing the lawn or repairing fencing are projects that become increasingly difficult to complete as we age. 

If these and similar projects are becoming too physically difficult for your parent to complete, it might be time to discuss options that require less maintenance. 

Steps For Moving Your Elderly Parents

It's time to make a plan after discussing it with your loved one and deciding that relocation is the best choice. 

Understand that the relocation should be a collaborative effort. Include your parents in the planning process. Moving requires extensive planning, so be prepared to check in with them and keep everyone on the same page. 

Here are some steps to help you transfer an aging parent from one state to another.

Hold a Family Gathering

When making choices about a parent, it is important to include all family members. 

Organizing a family gathering helps everyone get the information they need. This may include scheduling a Zoom conference with everyone involved or devoting time over the holidays to discuss relocation. 

The family gathering should be scheduled months or weeks in advance to ensure that everyone is on the same page, that duties are assigned to family members, and that the best manner to relocate your parents is determined.

Find the Best Moving Method

There are a few things to consider while preparing for moving day. 

First, assess the distance between the old and new locations. Then, determine how much is being moved. Gather friends and relatives to assist with the relocation if possible.

Moving elderly parents to another state may be best handled by professional movers. 

Just be sure to choose a company that can move from state to state. 

During your search, look for moving companies most suited to your individual needs. 

Consider how weighty or delicate your parents' possessions are. Many movers specialize in hauling bulky things or dealing with elders, so you don't have to stress as much about the move.

You can also try to find a nonstop flight. Nonstop flights tend to shorten travel time. 

If your parent can fly, but there are no nonstop flights, you can book a direct flight. A direct flight is a flight with a landing but no plane change. This allows your parent to a void the stress of wheelchair navigation or walking through the airport. 

Lastly, consider hiring a case manager. 

Case managers are professionals who coordinate the care and services of elderly adults on both ends of a move. 

A case manager can arrange for advanced medical support and professional movers to unpack your parent’s belongings. They can also refer you to social services agencies in the area. 

Make a Plan for Your Parent's Healthcare Needs Ahead of Time

Moving an aging parent from one state to another necessitates the search for new healthcare providers. 

Finding physicians takes time, so prepare ahead of time rather than at the last minute. 

Check with your present doctor to see if they have any recommendations in your parent's new area. 

Continue your investigation by reading internet references and qualifications of new healthcare providers. 

Review the Moving Plan

This step will ensure that everyone is on the same page. 

Even after your moving plan has been created, it is critical to go through it as a group to ensure everyone knows what is going on and what their role is.

Reviewing this information will ensure everyone knows the objectives, location, and logistics.

Personalize Your Loved One's New Home 

Moving offers up fresh opportunities for decorating and reorganizing. 

Displaying objects that remind your parents of their last home might bring comfort and help them feel at ease throughout the shift. 

Allow your parent to choose decorations that will bring them joy. Display family photos to remind them of their loved ones and other positive experiences.

Moving also allows for the reorganization of belongings and the removal of clutter. 

Getting rid of unneeded goods during a move, particularly when downsizing, will make obtaining ordinary objects simpler for your elderly parent. Label drawers and cabinets to remind your parent where to find new products.

When Your Parent Moves in with You

If you and your parent determine that the best location for your parent is in your house, be aware that living with a parent will almost certainly result in a change in family roles. 

A once-authoritarian parent may become increasingly reliant on you. You may become the guardian who directs and supervises many elements of your parent's life while attempting to retain as much autonomy for your parent as possible. 

You may find that you have less time for your spouse and yourself. You may need your children to assist with additional home tasks, such as caring for their grandparents. 

These job transitions may be difficult for everyone, but these tips can help:

  1. Allow for bargaining in decision-making processes wherever possible to increase the likelihood of a win-win result for you and your parent.

  2. Consider ways your parent can help out around the home, such as babysitting, light housework, or cash donations.

  3. Consider your spouse's and children's willingness to assist with caring and their degree of comfort with having a grandparent in the house, especially if they have dementia.

  4. Consider how your parents' traditional hobbies, rituals, and dietary preferences might be met without unduly affecting your own life.

  5. Make financial preparations ahead of time. Will your parent be able to contribute to food and utilities?

  6. If you have siblings or other family members, can you arrange ahead of time for them to stay with your parent or temporarily accommodate your parent at their house so you may take a break from caregiving or go on vacation?

Related Article: Selling Elderly Parents Home: How To Do It + Mistakes To Avoid

Changes in Lifestyle

You and your parent most likely have entirely different lives. 

Sleeping routines, eating habits and preferences, social calendars, hobbies, and daily activities may all need to be adjusted to ensure a seamless transition:

  1. Discuss and arrange how to accommodate all family members' bedtimes, nap schedules, and sleeping preferences.

  2. Discuss the foods you consume, when meals are made, and if special diets are necessary and how they will be handled.

  3. Determine if smoking/nonsmoking and drinking/nondrinking habits are compatible.

  4. Consider how you may encourage your parent's continuing engagement in social networks, such as visiting friends and going to church, and how transportation to these and other activities will be handled.

  5. Consider how the amount of noise in the home and the overall activity pattern will impact your parent.

Related: Is It Wrong To Move Away From Elderly Parents? My Advice

Time Consumption

Caregiving takes a large amount of time and is likely to interfere with your employment, family life, personal life, and sleep.

Determine how much time you can dedicate to your parent's care. 

When will you make phone calls to set up appointments or services? When can you take your parent to medical appointments?

Determine if you will need to change your present work schedule and whether your employer will accommodate such changes.

Determine the ramifications for your financial situation, professional progression, health insurance, and Social Security and retirement benefits if you cut your work hours.

Consider how much time you will have for your spouse, children, and friends.

Consider the limited private time you will have to pursue your own connections, hobbies, or fitness, as well as your daily desire for some alone time.

Expect to feel exhausted from time to time and need to find a method to relax. Investigate how to arrange for respite from caring tasks and seek the assistance of family members, friends, a hired assistant, or a home care service.

Your Residence

If your parent is going to live with you, your living space must be suitable. There must be ample space and an adaptive plan for an older adult with mobility or eyesight issues. 

To make a house safe, certain modifications may be required. Many of these adjustments are low-cost, but they need time and strategy.

Some families contemplate a house addition or the usage of an "accessory apartment" (or "accessory dwelling unit")—a fully furnished modular unit that may be built up in the yard or elsewhere on a lot temporarily or permanently. 

Home health companies or local aging services may have the resources to evaluate a house in terms of suggested home improvements and safe lift/transfer procedures to better help your parent.

Examine the quantity of accessible space and the level of seclusion. Consider where your parent will sleep. What would a youngster think if forced to give up a room for a grandparent?

Position your parent on the ground level to avoid stairs.

Consider substantial modifications that may be required to accommodate any disability or mobility issues, such as a wheelchair-accessible toilet and shower, modified door handles, and lower light switches.

Determine if assistive equipment such as grab bars in the bathroom, higher toilet seats, handrails, and a ramp are required.

Consider special locks, door chimes, and other devices that will assist in keeping doors and windows properly fastened if your parent wanders and is in danger of being lost.

Examine your house for risks such as hanging cables, poisons, slick surfaces, wobbly furniture, and throw rugs. Consider installing a shut-off mechanism for the stovetop.

If possible, install extra shelves in pantries, closets, or cabinets at heights that an elderly adult can reach without problems. Adjustable brackets can help you change the height of shelves for adults in wheelchairs. 

Install bright, non-glare lighting above all paths and low-cost adhesive strips on stairs and other potentially slippery locations like toilets and showers.

Adjust the thermostat so that the home is not overly hot or chilly. Be mindful that elderly individuals prefer warmer environments, which may affect your electricity expenditures.

Think about how you might integrate your parents' furnishings into your house.

Examine how current or new pets will fit into the new living circumstances.

Consider installing a system or an alarm to notify you when your parent needs assistance.

Arrangements for Finance

Individual financial information is not always shared among family members. 

If you are caring for a parent, you may need to get more engaged in their personal finances, such as paying bills, monitoring accounts, and managing retirement funds or investments. 

You should also consider drafting a formal legal contract known as a Personal Care Agreement that describes any payment made to you by your parent for accommodations or caregiving services.

Legal Documents

Ensure that legal documents such as Durable Power of Attorney, Representative Payee, and Advanced Directives are in place.

This is where Trustworthy can help. If you need to share important legal and financial documents back and forth with your parent, Trustworthy allows you to store those documents in a safe place. 

With Trustworthy, you can upload your documents to a secure server accessible from anywhere. You won't have to worry about losing your parent's important papers while moving to another state. 

Sign up for a free 14-day trial today.


Despite the difficulties, many adult children report that supporting and caring for their parents is one of the most fulfilling experiences they have ever had. 

Parents may contribute to the family by sharing their experiences and becoming an important part of your home. 

Grandchildren have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to learn about and absorb family history. Caregiving provides an incredible chance to repay what your parent previously gave to you.

How Can Trustworthy Help?

Moving your parent to another state can be a challenging and time-consuming process, especially if your parents have a lifetime of belongings to transport. 

In these situations, it’s easy to misplace important belongings. Your parents’ legal papers, such as their power of attorney and will, are not things you want to lose, especially as your parents grow older, and a medical emergency can happen at any time. 

Trustworthy allows your parents to upload their legal documents to a secure, easily accessible server. Once uploaded, you’ll be able to access, share, and alter your parent’s legal documents any time you need them. 

Sign up for a free 14-day trial with Trustworthy today.