As the child of elderly parents, it can sometimes be challenging to see them struggle in a home that is no longer right for them.
Your parents’ home may be too far from immediate medical support, and you worry about their safety. Their home may be too far from you, which you worry leaves them feeling isolated. Your parents’ house may require maintenance beyond their abilities and payments beyond their income. With stairs, high cabinets, and tripping hazards, the house may even be unsafe for them.
There are myriad reasons you want to help move your elderly parents to a more manageable home. But the topic is often a delicate one. After all, that’s the home they know. It may be sentimental and comforting to them, despite its burdens.
Approaching the subject of downsizing should be done honestly and compassionately, with an emphasis on removing any undue stress on their part. In this article, let’s examine four tips to help guide you – and your loving parents – through the process.
Start on the Right Foot: Open, Honest Discussion
Honesty is, indeed, the best policy. If you feel your elderly parents’ home is no longer right for them, you should say so. And if, when considering the idea, your parents struggle with feelings of loss – loss of control, loss of a cherished space, etc. – they should feel encouraged to express their feelings as well.
It is best if everyone speaks honestly; that way, you can address concerns positively and productively.
Take the Stress Out of It: Suggest Professional Help
A key concern for many downsizers is the degree of work it takes – emotional, physical, and mental work. Sorting through a lifetime of memories, packing everything, and coordinating the move itself can feel like daunting tasks.
Take the stress out of it by enlisting the help of a compassionate senior downsizing company like NEATSPACES that oversees the entire process, from sorting belongings to packing, moving, and unpacking. With those practical concerns safely overseen by professionals, your parents can turn their attention to what matters: getting excited for the new chapter ahead.
Remain Compassionate, Empathetic, and Positive
There may be times throughout the process when your parents question their decision, vent frustrations, or worry. It’s natural.
If you can, maintain a compassionate outlook, an empathetic ear, and a positive attitude. Actively listen to their concerns, but also try to reintroduce the positive aspects of the move. “You will be closer to friends,” or “Without having to spend time and money maintaining a large home, you’ll be free to pursue fun hobbies and new interests.”
When Move Day Arrives, Be by Their Side
Find a senior downsizing service that takes charge on moving day, coordinating moving supplies, packers, movers, cleaners, unpacking, and set-up. That way, when the day finally arrives, you can be by your parents’ side. You can take time to say goodbye to the old home and properly welcome the new home.
It can be an emotional process, to be sure, but if you believe downsizing is a wise move for your elderly parents, you owe it to them – and yourself – to take an active role in the process. Hopefully, with the four tips above, you can navigate the experience with as little stress and frustration as possible.