Wednesday, 18 September 2019 06:30

How can I help Mom and Dad?

So you’ve had the conversation with your parents about moving. You’ve chatted and discussed all the options and benefits of downsizing to a smaller retirement home. Decisions have been made, a home has been found and now it’s time from them to start the process of downsizing, packing and moving.

Your parents are going to be dealing with a lifetime of memories and all the emotions that go with it. It will be a tiring and emotional process and they will need a lot of support. Your support.

How can you help your parents through this process without getting impatient or being insensitive to how they are feeling and the difficulties they are facing?

8 ways to help your parents move

  • Understanding. Understand how hard this move is for your parents. There are big changes ahead. There is a sense of loss as they let go of possessions acquired over a lifetime. There is sadness as they relive past joys, recall happy times.
  • Start early. Start the downsizing process as soon as your parents have a new home to move to. Plan regular short downsizing sessions and start with the easiest areas in the home. It’s important they have plenty of time to deal with the downsizing process and don’t find themselves exhausted.
  • Take your time. Understand that this will take time. Be prepared to reminisce with your parents as they go down memory lane. Drink tea and look at the photographs. Don’t try and rush the process as you will only make things harder.
  • Guard your tongue. You might not like items they choose to keep. You might not understand why they are adamant about keeping the old ugly brown crockery. But remember these are their possessions, their favourite and familiar items that will bring comfort in a new and strange environment. Take care to be gentle and respectful when questioning their choices.
  • Find a middle road. If your parents are struggling with decisions in a certain area, move onto something else and come back to them. You can mark items or box them for consideration later. If they really can’t make a decision have a maybe box for items that could be taken to the new home and discarded later.
  • Be prepared. Know how much space your parents will have, so that you can assess what will fit and work in the new home. Having a rough outline of the layout so that you can plan where things will go. Also check on the amount of storage there is, so they can scale back accordingly.
  • Be positive. Concentrate on the advantages of a move to a smaller place. There lives will be easier without the responsibilities that come with a family home. They will have time to do things they would like to do, old hobbies they could take up again. They will have a support system and assistance when needed.
  • Consider a professional. If you find you don’t have enough time or are struggling with the emotional fallout you could consider a Professional Organiser who specialises in assisting Seniors with the downsizing process. This way the Professional Organiser can gently but firmly manage the downsizing and moving process, leaving you to offer emotional support and comfort.

This is a difficult time for your parents. Your understanding, compassion, kindness, patience and lots of love will get them through!

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