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Helping Elderly Parents Downsize

By Dominique Le Grand

Moving homes can prove to be a stressful event for any family. As your parents get older, it may be a wise decision to consider downsizing.However, leaving behind a large family home can be a difficult task. Reminding your parents of the new opportunities this move signals is the first step to assisting their move to a smaller, more manageable property.Read on to discover how to find the right property for your elderly parents and what steps you can take to assist their next move.

PLAN AHEAD AND THINK LONG-TERM

Encourage your elderly parents to think ahead and downsize before it becomes a necessity. Making the move to a smaller property early will allow your family plenty of time to make the process as pleasant and pain-free as possible. Choosing the right property for your elderly parents can be a complex task. As your parent’s needs change, you want to rest assured knowing their home provides suitable long-term health and care services. Consider looking for low maintenance properties with minimal steps and easy access to public transport, medical services and shops.

TAKE IT ONE STEP AT A TIME

Decluttering a lifetime of personal belongings can be an emotional and time-consuming task. Alleviate some of this stress by beginning the decluttering process in the months prior to moving. It’s easy to become overwhelmed during the moving process. Creating lists will ensure your parents feel in control of their possessions at every stage. Set a firm date for the move and stay on schedule by writing down a clear timeline to plan out every step of the downsizing process. Start with obvious items that can be easily thrown away such as outdated medications, clothes or unnecessary household items. The earlier you begin to declutter their existing home, the easier the moving day will be for your elderly parents.

CLEARLY CATEGORISE ITEMS

In most cases, your elderly parents will be leaving behind a large family home filled with furniture and personal possessions. Remind your parents of the freedom downsizing will offer and help them see the benefits of leaving behind the mess and clutter of unnecessary belongings. Sort items into 3 categories: save, donate and discard. Their most beloved and treasured items will be brought to their new home, while tired old furniture and used kitchenware are likely to be donated to charity or discarded.

Be patient and understanding during this emotional time and take this as an opportunity to remember the stories and memories your family have created together.

CALL IN THE PROFESSIONALS

Outsourcing to the professionals will streamline the downsizing process and save your family the stress and time of packing and unpacking. Book in the moving date well in advance to ensure you get the best rate possible. Look for a removal company that specialises in helping elderly residents downsize, as they will be able to handle the process with extra care and compassion. Take this time as an opportunity to reconnect and share valuable time with your parents. Remind them of the independence and freedom this move will bring to foster a sense of excitement when downsizing to their new home.

THE BENEFITS OF ASSISTED LIVING

For many families, lifestyle villages or assisted living homes are a fantastic option for elderly parents looking to downsize. With various care and service options available, assisted living accommodation will give you peace of mind knowing that your parents will be looked after at all hours of the day. As your parent’s needs change, they’ll be supported by an experienced team of professionals. They’ll be relieved of the day-to-day tasks of cooking, cleaning and household maintenance, and be able to spend time on the hobbies and interests they enjoy. Plus, organised social activities and communal spaces will ensure they’ll be connected to a thriving community of like-minded residents.

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