When Emily’s mom, Amelia, broke her hip and started using a walker, Emily knew that it was time to move her mother into a smaller house that was closer to Emily’s own home. While Amelia wasn’t opposed to the move, Emily still found the whole prospect overwhelming. How would she manage to go through her mom’s belongings and to decide what to keep and what to let go? What should she do with the items Amelia no longer wanted?
If you’re the family caregiver to an aging parent, Emily’s story might sound familiar to you. Any move is challenging and time-consuming, but helping a parent to downsize can be especially stressful because of the need to eliminate belongings and the sentimental value that may be attached to some of them. The whole task can be so daunting that you may not even know where to start. If that’s the case, here are some tips to help you begin.
-Make a Plan
Start by making a plan for tackling all the work to be done. Decide the order you’ll go through the rooms and a timeline of when tasks will be completed. Use a diagram of the new home to help you determine which pieces of furniture might be too large to take along. If there are things you will need help with, such as moving heavy items, create a list of people who may be able to help. Contact them to find out when they are available and include this information in your plan.
-Start with Non-Emotional Stuff
It can be easier to start sorting belongings if you start with items that don’t have as much sentimental value. For example, start by sorting through the bathroom closet or kitchen cabinets.
Sort items into four piles: donate, keep, garbage, and give to family. As you go through rooms, put each item into the appropriate pile. If you’re unsure of whether family members might want certain items, keep a list as you sort. Contact family members later to ask them about the items later. Calling them while you’re sorting could result in time-consuming conversations that will slow you down.
If money allows, consider hiring a moving company to help. There are also companies that specialize in assisting seniors with downsizing. These companies do everything from packing to arranging for donating items, to setting up the new home.
Helping with downsizing can be one of the more difficult tasks of being a family caregiver. However, with some careful planning, the job can be made easier. Once you have helped your parent to move, hiring a home care provider can help them to live more comfortably in their new home. Home care providers can assist with keeping the new home tidy and ensuring your parent’s continued safety.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elder care in Tustin, CA, please contact the caring staff at Canaan Home Care today!