Getting older sometimes means moving to a smaller home or into an assisted living facility. With either option, seniors will need to decide what they want to bring along and what should be sold or given to loved ones; however this can be a difficult period of time. Fortunately, there is quite a bit, that family and other loved ones can do to help with the downsizing for seniors.
Going Through Photographs
Photos are one of the more difficult things to deal with. Some of them can go, but others will need to be given to others. This part of downsizing for seniors involves sitting down and going through each photo album and considering every framed photograph. Make it a bit of a game by deciding where those pictures will go in the new place. As they begin to visualize themselves in the new spot, the idea of moving will seem less intimidating.
Remember there are services that can scan the photos and create digital copies. If a senior is comfortable with computers, it will be easy enough to save all the photographs on a disk or two. That means nothing is lost in the downsizing, even if most of the hard copies are given to relatives.
Tackling the Papers
It’s easy to accumulate documents of all types. Instead of trying to deal with all of them at one time, break the process of downsizing into increments. Today, help go through everything that is in the desk. Tomorrow, take time to check out any boxes of papers in the attic. Always allow time for a senior to look over each document, reminisce a little about what it means, and then decide if it should be kept or if it can be shredded.
Tagging the Furniture
If possible, take the senior to check out the new living space. While there, talk about which pieces of furniture will fit into each area and where. This often has the effect of ensuring the senior feels in charge of the move. Being able to get an idea of what pieces will fit into the space and make a happy home will also ease the process of tagging things to give away or sell.
Make It a Family Affair
Once the sorting is done and everything is tagged to keep or to give away, have the family come by for one last family meal. The food can be catered, with the senior only doing as much or as little cooking as desired. That may mean leaving the main part of the meal to others while the senior prepares a dessert that is a family favorite. At the end of the dinner, the senior can present each of the family members with some of the things he or she wishes to pass on.
Talking About the Move
Throughout the process of preparing for the move, expect the senior to feel a little down. Even when it is clear the move is for the best, it is still hard to give up what was home for so many years. Consider the idea of arranging for the senior to speak with clergy or a counselor about the move. If necessary, arrange for transportation, to and from the counseling sessions. The ability to articulate those feelings and examine them will go a long way toward making the move easier.
Contact Tender Touch Moving & Storage and our team of professional movers will be on hand to lend whatever support is needed.