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There comes a time in many seniors’ lives when they realize they’re no longer up to caring for their own home. They might decide to move in with family, move into an apartment, or transition into assisted care.
People tend to accumulate more belongings than they realize over their lifetimes, and when they move into a smaller home, not everything will fit. As such, many seniors have to downsize, going through the difficult task of deciding what stays and what goes.
To learn more about your senior downsizing options and how to help your loved one through it, keep reading.
Start With Housing
Senior citizen downsizing is very dependent on what kind of home your loved one is moving into. Unless they’re selling their home for a smaller one, some large appliances may already be provided. Some senior living communities even offer fully-furnished homes.
Because of this, the first step in downsizing is getting a clear idea of what type of housing your loved one is moving into. Large items are the hardest to move, and any that you can donate or leave behind will make the process simpler.
Where they’re moving is also an important consideration. If they’re moving long-distance to be closer to family, it might be easier to leave some larger items behind and buy new ones once you get there.
Next is the most difficult part: getting rid of clutter and items that won’t fit in the new space. Separate items into piles to keep, donate or sell, and trash. If your loved one is struggling with sentimental attachments, consider using the KonMari method. to identify which belongings “spark joy”.
No matter how you go about it, one of the best downsizing tips is to take things slowly. Trying to rush your loved one into giving up their belongings can build tension and resentment. Instead, start the process early and go room-by-room or one category at a time, giving them space to make careful decisions.
This is also a good time for your loved one to pass heirlooms along to designated family members. They may be upset that the china set or mahogany desk won’t fit in their new place, but giving it to a child or grandchild is easier than donating it to a thrift store.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Downsizing is a large and often emotional process, and sometimes you need an outside perspective to get through it. If you think that might be the case, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a professional.
Senior downsizing services have move managers who are trained for this exact situation. They know how to prioritize what to keep and what to toss, and they’ll make sure no steps in the moving process get skipped. Finding a service to hire is as simple as searching the internet for “senior downsizing services near me”.
Senior Downsizing Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult
Even though it seems daunting, senior downsizing can go smoothly as long as you have a plan in place. Talk through the above steps with your loved one to get started.
If you’re looking for more ways to care for your aging parents, be sure to read the other articles on our site.