If you are preparing an aging loved one for a move to a senior living community, the logistics of it all may feel a bit overwhelming. Trying to determine the right type of care community for your aging parent is often difficult enough. Then comes the challenge most families face of how to help their senior decide what to take with them in the move and what to do with everything that is left behind. Today’s generation of seniors typically stay in their homes for many decades without moving, which means they have likely accumulated a lot of belongings.
6 Tips for Downsizing a Senior Loved One’s Home Before a Move
To help the Missouri and Illinois family caregivers who follow our blog get started, we have pulled together our top six tips for downsizing:
- If you know where your loved one will be moving to and can obtain a floor plan with room sizes, it will help you figure out what furniture and belongings will fit and what will need to find a new home.
- Begin in the areas of the house where your aging loved one spends the least amount of time. Set up bins or boxes labeled: “Keep,” “Charity,” “Family” and “Trash.” Sort items accordingly as you work your way through each room of the house.
- If you have time on your side, try to tackle the downsizing process over a period of weeks or months. It will cause less anxiety for your senior loved one if they can take their time deciding what to do with their treasured items. Many senior move experts recommend establishing a timeline for the move that is realistic for everyone involved.
- If your senior family member will be parting with a lot of their favorite treasures, create a scrapbook of how their home looked before you started downsizing. Get pictures of all of their favorite things. Then add photos of how the items look in the family members’ homes that have inherited them afterward.
- As moving day draws nearer, try to work with the staff at the senior living community to begin your loved one’s transition. Maybe go for lunch or dinner once a week or join in on the activities and outings on a more regular basis.
- A few days before the move, assemble a “Moving Day Survival Kit” for the actual day of the move. You will want to include things your loved one will need right away when they arrive at their new home. This box or suitcase should stay with you during the move and not go with the moving company you hire. Be sure it includes their medications, important documents, toiletries, coffee pot and supplies, and their personal care items.