Five Ways to Help Your Parents Downsize into Assisted Living: It’s Emotional!

July 26th, 2016 by John Wilson

How do you downsize a lifetime of possessions and memories and hang on to a select few to bring with you to your assisted living center in Oklahoma City? You do so over time, rather than in one day, and you take the time to recognize and express the emotions that will most certainly accompany the process of downsizing. There are many amazing and exciting benefits of moving into assisted living. The process of whittling down one’s possessions is not one of them. The task of downsizing is emotional. After it is complete, though, there’s often a sense of relief and even lightness of being no longer being weighed down by stuff. To reach that point, your parents will need to take an emotional journey. Here are five ways to help them downsize.

Recognize Their Need to Grieve

As you help your loved one transition into assisted living, try to put yourself in his or her shoes. If the roles were reversed and you had to say goodbye to the majority of your belongings, you would feel sad. You can’t take away your loved one’s sadness, but you can be supportive and understanding. Throughout the process, point out the positive aspects of what awaits them in their new life.

Make a Strategic Plan

Before embarking on the downsizing process, sit down with your loved one and a floor plan of his or her new room. The floor plans of affordable assisted living facilities in the Oklahoma City area vary tremendously. Knowing how much wall, closet and shelf space will be available will make it easier to know what to put in the bring along, discard or donate piles or bins.

Learn how to help your loved one transition into assisted living.

Help your loved one transition into assisted living.

Don’t Rush the Process

Understand various items will bring up memories your loved one will want to share. This is a healthy part of the process. Consider this downsizing ritual an opportunity to share quality time with your loved one. Feel free to share your own positive and uplifting memories during the process. Taking time to reminisce will remind your loved one he or she has lived a full and enjoyable life up to this point. Continue to point out the next phase of life will be different but equally enjoyable.

Make Space for Sentimental Items

Regardless of how small one’s living space is, it’s important to personalize it and fill it with things that are meaningful, even if they’re not necessarily functional. Additionally, there will probably be items that are steeped in sentimentality but far too large to bring to an assisted living facility, such as an antique dining room table or a restored vehicle. Make plans to store these larger treasures for your loved ones so they’ll know they’ve remained in the family.

Donate Items to Worthy Causes or Give Them to Special People

To make it easier to part with items, work with your loved one to create a list of causes and people near and dear to your loved one’s heart. Giving away items will be much easier if your loved one knows these items are going toward charities they support or will be passed on to people they care about.

The advance preparations needed before moving to assisted living can be difficult and emotional. Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel if Village at Oakwood is your loved one’s destination. Great friends, caring assistants and enriching experiences await! Contact us to learn more about our facility.

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