The process of downsizing can be stressful for people of any age, but it may be especially difficult for seniors. As they age, seniors may discover that their current lifestyle no longer supports their needs. This discovery may come from losing a loved one or through a diagnosis. Or it simply may be a result of growing older. Whatever the reason, having the support of loved ones and elder care providers in the home can help them determine their next steps.
The Art of Pre-Downsizing
The process of downsizing might need to begin before the actual decision to downsize. This pre-downsizing calls for gentle encouragement and patience. The last thing anyone wants is for loved ones to feel like they’re being pushed before they’re ready. Having elder care in the home is a fantastic support when loved ones see the need to downsize before seniors are quite there.
With consistent monitoring, elder care providers can assess what is working in the home and what isn’t. They can also encourage seniors to consider decluttering or downsizing in a way relevant to their day-to-day conversations. Pre-downsizing is effective as it allows everyone involved to process their feelings before the actual downsizing begins.
Tips and Tricks for Downsizing
After deciding to downsize, consider the following to assist with the process. Seniors may need assistance in making decisions. As this will be an emotional process, patience and time will benefit the situation.
Develop a strategy: Loved ones and elder care professionals can help seniors by creating a strategy. Knowing what is happening next and the expectations, as well as the end goal, can help everyone stay on track.
Eliminating duplicates: Like most of us, seniors typically have many objects that serve the same purpose. It’s important to assess duplicates and eliminate what isn’t needed. Encourage seniors by helping them see the space gained when they eliminate duplicates.
Donate or sell the items: Many seniors have amassed a lifetime’s worth of possessions, and it can be challenging to let go of them. On the other hand, donating or selling stuff can be an excellent method to help out another person while also bringing in some additional cash. Seniors will feel better knowing their items go to people who will love them as much as they did or to people in need.
Consider storage if seniors are still struggling: If they have problems letting go of their possessions, consider storage an option. Talk with them about a short-term rental unit with a plan to revisit the need for those items in a few months. This is a gentle way to declutter without severing all ties with their possessions.
Plan accordingly: Since downsizing can be difficult on an emotional level, it is crucial to not rush through the process and instead take time with it. Family members might not realize how hard it might be on them because they’re focused on their loved ones. Taking time when downsizing is important so everyone can process their emotions.
Seniors may benefit from downsizing their homes since it can assist them in simplifying their lives and lowering their stress levels. Whether moving into a new space or staying where they are, downsizing has many benefits. Loved ones can enlist the help of elder care providers to navigate what items can easily be downsized to streamline the process.