You Can Reduce the Stress of Helping a Senior Loved One Downsize With Our Organization Tips

Pegasus homecare in Atwater Village and elsewhere focuses on keeping your loved one living at home. Sometimes it’s necessary to downsize the home environment due to economic or safety concerns. Our experts have put together some tips to make the process smoother.

Downsizing doesn’t always mean moving to a new residence. It can involve eliminating accumulated items that have made the home unsafe. For example, a disabled person may need wider passageways.

Plan Ahead When Possible

Whether moving or staying put, planning ahead is key to downsizing successfully. Unfortunately, a health crisis, such as a stroke, doesn’t always allow you the luxury of planning. You can still minimize chaos with good organization.

The first week of August is National Simplify Your Life Week. That provides an opportunity to begin talking with your elderly loved one about decluttering and downsizing. Together you and they can approach everything one step at a time.

Aside from the physical aspect of downsizing, there’s an emotional aspect. Individuals become attached to their possessions. You may have to ease your senior out of wanting to keep “everything.”

Organize the Downsizing With These Tips

Once the necessity of downsizing is accepted, it’s time to start the physical process. That’s likely going to be very stressful for everyone involved. Good organization can help reduce the stress, expense, and time involved for you and your senior.

Everyone organizes differently, but you may find the following suggestions helpful:

  1. Look at the new home. Do a walk-through with a tape measure. Visualize how belongings will fit in the new floor plan. You may be able to move more of the cherished possessions than you first thought. You may also find ways to make specific areas do double duty. At the least, you’ll know for sure what items will never fit. You can then avoid the time and expense of moving them.
  2. Eliminate clutter. Decluttering is part of planning ahead. Your loved one might have outdated papers and documents that can be destroyed. Sorting through all the paperwork also helps you find the critical documents, such as wills, that need to be saved. You can ensure that everything that needs to be kept is together in a safe place. Not everything in your loved one’s home is necessarily theirs. Other family members may be “storing” their possessions in grandma’s “spare room.” There may also be extraneous, extra, or duplicate items kept “just in case.” Everything your senior isn’t using can go in the do-not-keep classification.
  3. Inventory everything. Some individuals think about what they would replace if suddenly everything was lost. That’s one way to determine what’s most important. If it’s unexpectedly gone and wouldn’t be replaced, then it’s probably not an item that has to be moved to the new home.
  4. Make a plan. For many, this means beginning with items in the most-used room first. That’s probably the room which has the most items that will be kept. Once everything that’s essential is sorted, you’ll know how much of the remaining items there will be room for in the new home. However, some individuals will find it easier to start with the least-used room. They find it easier to eliminate items that are seldom used. Psychologically, that can put them in the right frame of mind to let go of other objects.
  5. As you sort, think long-term. As difficult as thinking about it might be, the health of your loved one may worsen. You don’t want to have to go through downsizing again. Consider whether decreasing financial resources will necessitate another move. If reduced mobility is likely, make this move to a ground floor with disabled access. In short, take lifestyle changes into account.

Sentimental possessions that don’t make the move can be “re-homed” to other family members. Other items can be donated to charities or sold at a yard sale.

Pegasus Homecare in Atwater Village and Our Other Locations Can Help Ease the Transition

Elderly loved ones often don’t regard downsizing or moving as a fresh start. For them, it can mean giving up everything that’s familiar. Despite your best efforts, they can become isolated, lonely, or depressed.

Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. We have consistently provided quality care to our clients since 1994. Our reputation is based on adhering to the highest ethical and clinical standards.

Relocating and adjusting to the changes wrought by downsizing isn’t easy. We can help your loved one maintain existing social relationships and form new ones after a move. We strive always to help each person improve their quality of life. 

Our team of experts tailors their services to fit the needs of each client. Our goal is to help each individual live independently and safely in their home. Regardless of the level of care needed or for how long it’s needed, we’ll be there for your loved one.