The current generation of seniors is known for staying in their homes for many decades. When it is time to move on to a new chapter in life, helping them downsize can be a real challenge for their adult children. In fact, seniors and their families often cite this as a reason for putting off a move.
5 Tips for Downsizing a Senior Loved One’s Home
- Create a Familiar Environment: While it might be tempting to buy new furniture and accessories for your loved one’s new apartment, what might help ease the transition is to create an environment that feels like home. That likely means bringing some of their favorite items from home.
- Make a Plan: Ask one of the staff members at the assisted living community your loved one is moving to for a copy of the floor plan for their new apartment. Be sure it lists the dimensions for each room. Knowing those sizes will allow you to measure each piece of furniture and determine if and where it will fit.
- Most Used Items: If your loved one is moving from a large home, try to determine which furniture and belongings they use most and which items have sentimental value. This might make it easier to figure out what should make the move with them and what will need to be given to family members or donated to charity.
- Start the Process: Once you have a general idea on what household items will be making the move and what won’t be, start your downsizing efforts in the least frequently used rooms in the house. Label boxes so you can sort items in each room according to their final destination: Family, Charity, New Apartment, and Trash.
One final tip is, unless an emergency is the reason for their move, try to give yourselves time to work through this process. It will likely be emotional for your loved one to go through all of their belongings. Give them time to talk and share memories along the way!
Navigating a move to an assisted living community or another type of retirement living can be difficult. Contact professionals to get the best advice possible for your situation. The MacIntosh Community will be happy to speak with you and help you along the way.