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Addressing a Senior Loved One’s Reluctance to Downsize

At some point, most seniors need to downsize their belongings whether they choose to age in place or move in with family. However, they are often reluctant to get rid of things they have had for a long time. Westfield, NJ, elderly home care experts suggest using these tips to help your senior loved one manage the downsizing process.

Ask for a Story

Your loved one’s possessions are more than just things. Each item in his or her home represents something meaningful. For example, a stack of old newspapers may contain tidbits about his or her past. Ask your loved one to tell you about his or her cherished items. Knowing someone understands the meaning may be all it takes for him or her to let the objects go.

Give It Time

It is possible your loved one is mentally working through the process of downsizing, and he or she needs more time to go through all of the shelves and closets. If there is no need to rush a move, find out if you or a professional Westfield, NJ, home caregiver can help with his or her daily routine. This way, your loved one can focus on sorting through the belongings because someone else will be handling other tasks like meal preparation.

Create Boundaries

If your loved one’s collections are beginning to take over his or her home, it may be necessary to talk about boundaries. For example, you could suggest limiting magazines on the coffee table to only this month’s editions. Alternatively, you could organize all of your loved one’s memorabilia into one album.

Celebrate the Memories

Sorting through your loved one’s cherished belongings is an opportunity for the whole family to bond. As your loved one accepts the concept of downsizing, consider hosting a family gathering where he or she passes down heirlooms. Alternatively, you could scan photos of his or her favorite things into a slideshow program to create a keepsake for everyone. Finding ways to emphasize the positive memories that come from downsizing can help your loved one stay on task.

If your loved one needs additional support during the downsizing process and beyond, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of live-in and respite home care Westfield, NJ, seniors can rely on, and our caregivers are available around the clock to assist with a wide array of daily tasks. For more information on our in-home care services, please call one of our experienced Care Managers at 908.450.9400 today.