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DOWNSIZING: Helping an Aging Parent

July 12, 2016 1:55 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

DOWNSIZING, RELOCATING, and MOVE MANAGEMENT……Are you looking to downsize and relocate your aging parent? It’s detrimental for you and your parents to wait, even though there may be valid reasons:

“I should be doing more, and I feel guilty that I can’t.”

“I swore to Mom I would never put her in a ‘home’ but it is getting more and more difficult for her to stay alone in her home.” 

“I’m worried about protecting Mom’s money.”

“I don’t want to sell my parents’ house. That’s my childhood home, and there are so many memories there.” 

“What if she hates it?”

 Adult children whose parents are at the crossroads of moving from the “homestead” to a downsized apartment or a retirement/assisted living home are grappling with these thoughts daily. While “I am not ready yet” are the words that both the parent and the child often say to stall the inevitable, “I should have done this sooner” is the most common regret among adult children trying to navigate the seemingly impossible task of downsizing their parents’ living arrangements.

The time in between these two statements can be years.  The time that could be spent enjoying freedom from home maintenance, new friendships and financial predictability, are often wasted.

As we get older, downsizing to a smaller residence or moving to a senior community or facility may seem like the right thing to do but the process may seem daunting. If you are thinking about downsizing or helping aging parents downsize, here are helpful tips to make it easier on both of you.

HELPFUL TIPS for PARENTS:

  1. Don’t wait until the last minute: Few people can tackle downsizing from a home they have lived in for twenty to sixty years without a good plan and good help. Waiting to the last minute makes this project even more difficult and very stressful if you are not aware of industry nuances and standards such as the moving companies’ busy time of year. With help from Eldercare experts, the process can be done in an efficient time frame suited to your needs and schedule and all options can be considered to right-size instead of just downsize.
  2. Be kind to yourself: Having help not only lessens the physical demands of the move but also provides emotional support when experiencing the separation from sentimental surroundings and belongings. Letting someone assist could make a huge difference.
  3. Take inventory: Belongings may be neatly stored away to give the appearance that there is not that much to move or downsize. Once the downsizing begins, what is “out of sight” is no longer “out of mind.” Organizing and itemizing to determine what stays and what goes, will make for a less daunting process.
  4. Make decisions earlier vs. later: Make the decision to downsize now when you are able to review all the options for the near and distant future. Last minute decision-making when the luxury of time is not available can led to stress which can lead to health issues.

HELPFUL TIPS for ADULT CHILDREN:

  1. Preserve memories, not things: If your parents have lived in the same house for many years, you and they will have fond memories of events and attach sentimental value to the material remembrances of those events. Preserve the memories by taking a video and/or pictures which will reduce the need for storage space.
  2. Sort possessions by category to make downsizing easier: Allocate a room in your house to sort your possessions by “use it”, “need it,” or “love it.” If it does not fit into any of those categories, “lose it.” Then, sort by:
  • Items your parents will take with them to their new home.
  • Items family members have requested or would want.
  • Items for sale.
  • Items to give away.
  • Trash – if it has not been used for years, throw it away!

DON’T GO IT ALONE

There is help during this difficult time in both the parents’ and the children’s lives. Given the increasing longevity of seniors and their growing numbers, the need for such services is being met by a variety of industry experts. Determine what your needs are and give Tranquil Transitions a call for a Free Consultation .  Tranquil Transitions is a reputable company (in business for 13 years) with an efficient and compassionate staff.   A company that simply moves your loved ones belongings will not be as helpful as a company that is able to take charge of the entire process from downsizing possessions to packing and unpacking,  transporting furniture, estate dispersal, staging, home improvements, real estate  and making the new home accessible.   THIS SERVICE MAKES AN EXCEPTIONAL GIFT – CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE.

Such life transitions are never easy on anyone. With a compassionate approach, a good plan and the right help, you and your loved ones will feel confident the right decision was made for everyone.

Annette Rion – Owner/Executive Director  Tranquil Transitions LLC

annette Office 732-980-9581    Cell  732-672-9231

Email :  tranquiltransitionsllc@gmail.com

Web:     www.tranquiltransitionsllc.com

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