Tips for Helping a Senior Loved One Downsize

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Helping a Senior Loved One Downsize in Des Moines, IA

Downsizing can create safer and less stressful living environments for seniors, but the process of paring down their belongings can generate some temporary stress. Your aging parent may need help with the logistical aspects of moving heavy pieces of furniture, or he or she may require emotional support while wading through a lifetime of memories. Working as a partner with your parent provides the necessary help.

Encourage a Positive Attitude

If your parent is being forced to downsize quickly due to a health problem, he or she may be more emotionally affected by the process. Talk about some of the benefits of downsizing. For example, your loved one will have more time to do things he or she enjoys when there’s less clutter to take care of. As you work together, make sure to praise your loved one’s efforts to help him or her maintain motivation. Downsizing can be an emotional experience for seniors, and it’s important to make sure your loved one has the support he or she needs to remain happy and healthy. In Des Moines, senior home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

Plan with the New Living Space in Mind

Many seniors downsize when they’re moving to smaller apartments or houses. Keeping the new floor plan in mind can help your loved one make important decisions about what to save. For example, you wouldn’t want to throw out your parent’s favorite table if there’s enough space for it in the new home.\

Identify What Matters the Most

Certain items may seem trivial to you, but they could mean the world to your loved one. Talk to your parent about his or her current lifestyle. Ask questions about what activities bring him or her the most joy. Your loved one may also have specific heirlooms he or she wants to keep. While it may require making some adjustments, preserving a few special things that matter a lot can keep your loved one from feeling a sense of loss.

Work in Phases

Downsizing is tiring, and it can be overwhelming to look at the whole picture. Instead, help your loved one break the process down into specific steps that can be spread out over a few days or weeks. Your loved one might want to spend a day decluttering the closet and then move on to tossing out trash from the garage. Working through the house systematically makes the process easier to tolerate. Many older adults require assistance with various tasks as they age. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted elder care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.

Suggest Donating as Much as Possible

Seniors often find it upsetting to watch their treasures get tossed into a dumpster. This is especially difficult for older adults when they’ve been taught to reuse and preserve things for the majority of their lives. If you know your parent will find it difficult to trash things, suggest donating what he or she can. Knowing their old belongings can bring someone else happiness helps seniors feel better about giving things up.

Appoint Helpers for Specific Tasks

Your parent shouldn’t try to downsize independently. Trying to move furniture could cause him or her to get hurt, or he or she might just feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of energy required to clear out a shelf. Hire a caregiver and appoint family members who can help your parent manage each part of the downsizing plan. For support during the downsizing phase, consider enlisting the help of a professional caregiver. For families living in Des Moines, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at (515) 264-2438.


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