Once you make the decision to move an elderly loved one into a senior living facility, it is time to downsize their belongings. This is often one of the most difficult aspects of senior living. Many people have difficulty letting go of possessions for sentimental reasons, but for those who are transitioning to senior homes, it seems to be significantly more challenging. Here are some helpful tips how to help your loved one through this transition.
The first thing you should do is contact the senior living home to inquire about a recommended packing list. The facility is most familiar with the amount of space residents have and what personal property their residents seem to treasure most. This packing list can be a great starting point, giving you a guideline in what you should encourage your loved one to part with and what can be a part of their new home.
The truth is many elderly individuals don’t realize how much they have accumulated over the years. Creating an inventory of what is in the home is an important step to take before sorting through belongings and determining what can be a part of your new home. Use your inventory as a checklist as you go through your loved one’s possessions.
Before you begin, designate boxes for different categories. Mark one box for taking to the senior living center, one for donations, one for family and one for storage. This will make sorting through possessions easier for everyone. Allowing your loved one to choose items for storage encourages him to take fewer belongings without feeling as if he is getting rid of everything. If there is anything your relative wants to give to a family member, this is the ideal time.
The inability to let go of items creates unnecessary clutter your loved one probably won’t miss anyway. As you go through each item, ask the length of time since its last use. If it has been more than a year, it may be best to donate, put into storage or throw it away. Giving your loved one the choice about what is used and what is unneeded can make him feel useful and appreciated, making it easier to let go of some belongings.
The most important factors when downsizing for a move into a senior home is to make sure your loved one still feels at home. This may mean allowing him to pack something you ordinarily wouldn’t consider important. Just a few small pieces of a past life can make a significant difference in the ease of the transition.
When moving a loved one into a senior living center, it becomes important to downsize. After all, many individuals are moving from a full home to a much smaller apartment setting. Helping your elderly parent sort through their belongings and decide what to take, donate and store can make the transition a lot easier.
If you need a packing list to start the process of downsizing a loved one’s belongings, contact us. We are ready to help with every aspect of moving into senior homes.