For many older adults, moving to an assisted living community can become complicated. On top of having to deal with major changes in their living environment and other arrangements, the transition comes with a significant reduction in living space. If your loved one is someone who isn’t fond of smaller spaces, the downsizing process can be tough. Here are strategies and tips you can use to help your loved one accept the process better
Emphasize the Positive Changes of Downsizing
If your loved one is someone who hangs onto objects, try your best to understand their reasons for it. If they grew up in a trying financial situation, throwing away any item is not a small matter since they believe they may need it someday. Being overly critical of one’s possessions and decisions to toss or keep certain items will only lead to more arguments or them bringing the entire packing process to a halt. What you can do is acknowledge what your loved one is doing isn’t easy, but they have a new life ahead of them with fewer chores and home maintenance, new friends, and more opportunities to enjoy their passions and interests. Focusing on the benefits of moving to assisted living is key even if they seem hung up on its negative sides. Acceptance takes time, and your encouragement will help to make this process easier for them.
Avoid Getting Overly Sentimental About Possessions
Getting overly sentimental and emotional over their downsizing situation can make them dread the move even more. If you chance upon your personal belongings as they’re decluttering, ask your parents if they can let you keep them. Similarly for them, if certain items hold emotional or sentimental value, allow them to make space in their new home for their most cherished items. If your parents need time to think before throwing something away or keeping it, allow them to store it temporarily in an “undecided” box so they can properly think it through. The key is to always prioritize compassion as they are preparing for the move.
Consider Hiring a Professional
Downsizing can get hectic for most people. If decluttering is taking a toll on you and your parents’ emotional well-being, it’s good to ask for help. There are professionals who can efficiently help you manage and organize this process. An external part can also help by offering sound and objective guidance that will make your parents feel understood and heard during this vulnerable period. This way, you and your parents will be able to work on settling other parts of downsizing to alleviate other matters that may be putting stress on them.
A Dream Retirement Awaits at Morada Cy-Fair
Downsizing into a retirement community is perfect for older adults looking to finally realize their dream retirement. At Morada Cy-Fair, our professionally-trained caregivers are dedicated to meeting the needs and preferences of all residents, regardless of which senior living option they are from.