For majority of older adults, moving from a long-time home into an assisted living community is tedious and can be overwhelming. Some may even find the process paralyzing as they need to invest a good amount of energy and effort. Apart from countless other adjustments, moving to senior living also comes with a significant reduction in living space. Downsizing can be challenging so here are some downsizing tips for seniors who want to move to assisted living.
Downsizing Tips for Caregivers
You need to first understand how hard moving to assisted living is for your parents. They are leaving their home and other precious personal belongings that are a symbol of the many years of their lives. At the same time, they need to adjust to the reality that they will be losing a part of their independence by making this move. Encouragement and empathy are crucial in times like this to ensure the transition can go on smoothly. Follow the tips below to help your parents transition over with ease:
- Think Before You Speak – Do not say things that can be hurtful like asking why your parents are still hanging onto some things that are in their possession. You need to understand that some people are naturally savers. They may be afraid to throw away certain things that they might need someday. The goal is to build trust and to show support in whichever way you can.
- Plan for Their New Home and Needs – You may inquire with the assisted living community about their campus layout and specifications. These can help you better understand just how much space will be allocated in the room or apartment that your parents will be moving to.
- Avoid Getting Overly Emotional – You will make things even harder when you get too emotional over their move. If you chance upon your old possessions while decluttering, ask for your parents’ permission if you would like to keep them. You do not need to hide your true feelings about the whole situation but avoid getting overly emotional.
- Do Not Keep or Toss Things Immediately – You do not need to toss or keep things right there and then. If your parent needs time to decide whether to keep something or to toss it, put those items in a box for them to decide at a later time. Practice compassion rather than focusing on getting things done and over with.
- Emphasize the Positive Changes – If stress leads to bickering, anxiety or hurt feelings, help your parents see the positive changes. Acknowledge that the move may be difficult for them but remind them that they have a long, positive life waiting for them. They can focus on retiring in a much more enriching environment without all the tedious household chores, maintenance, meal prep, and others.
- Consider Hiring a Professional – There are professionals who can help with decluttering and disposal if you find that dealing with them are too time-consuming and tiring. Remember to always involve your parents so as not to have the professional workers dispose things that are too precious to toss.