The job of convincing your senior parent to move into a senior living facility can be daunting for family members. Part of the challenge is working closely with your senior parent to move through the downsizing process with empathy and love. Being forced to get rid of cherished possessions can be traumatic and must be handled with care. Seniors that are moving into assisted living care are often not enthusiastic about the process. Family members need to step forward to help smooth out the downsizing efforts. Carelessly getting rid of belongings without following the right steps can be very upsetting and stressful for the whole family.
As your parent prepares to switch to a vibrant assisted living care home, downsizing their belongings is an essential part of the transition. Take a look at these helpful hints families can follow to make a move into senior living more comfortable for everyone.
Take Your Time
Thousands of items can be accumulated after many decades of living in a family home. The downsizing process doesn’t need to be rushed, and family members need to be realistic about the time required to go through every room. Give yourself plenty of time to take a relaxed approach to sorting through your senior parents’ precious things. Start in one room at a time and go from there. A spare bedroom or a basement is an excellent place to start as these areas generally hold items that aren’t used in everyday life.
Make a Wish List
Talk to your senior parents about the items that they feel like they just can’t leave behind. A gentle reminder about the lack of space in their new home compared to their family home may help them make some decisions. Once the list is made, it will be easier to work around the home without mistakenly discarding something essential to the owner.
Draw a Floor Plan
The assisted living facility should provide you with a floor plan for your parents’ new quarters. Make sure that you know the exact dimensions of each room. This information will help you to plan out what items and furniture will fit in the new space. Work with your senior parents to decide on a floor plan that will be convenient and comfortable for them.
Consider Their Needs
Most assisted living facilities are full-service, which means that your parents won’t need many of the same items as they do in their family home. For example, meals are prepared by the facility, so there is no need to pack a lot of kitchen items. A small fridge or a microwave, along with a small set of dishes, might be all you need to take. Find out what furniture is included with each room so that you can eliminate taking duplicates that will take up room.
Your senior parent may take comfort in knowing that their belongings will be going to good use once they are purged. Having dedicated sorting boxes for items to be donated or given to family members may be helpful.
Moving a parent into a senior living facility is a challenging journey for the whole family. Taking the time to be thoughtful and considerate while preparing for the move can help ease some of the stress. Follow some of these tips to help you prepare your senior parents for their move into senior care.