If you are moving an elderly loved one, most likely you will be moving them into a smaller space than they previously lived in. This will require that you help them to downsize. Unless one has adopted a minimalist attitude towards their living space, downsizing involves a lot of emotions. This is especially true of an elderly person who has gathered many things throughout their lifetime.
Be Thoughtful When Assisting
I believe the key to helping an elderly person move is to be considerate of their feelings. Try to understand their misgivings about relocating as well as how they may feel while trying to thin out their personal belongings.
It is a good idea to draw a floor plan of the new location. This way you can sit down with your senior and go over the actual amount of living space that will be available. This will allow you to make a reasonable argument about how much of their household furniture, etc., will actually fit comfortably into their new home.
Once you have ascertained what furniture you will keep, tag the remainder of items for future disposal (either via estate sale, donation or throwing away (if it is not actually reusable).
Now it is time to move on to the personal items.
A Keepsake Trunk
If your senior is like my mom, they will have been given many gifts from their family members and friends over the years. This is what we call keepsakes. A great idea for keepsakes is to get a nicely decorated trunk and help your senior to decide on what to keep, with the understanding that only what can fit into the trunk is what will keep. Mind you, this is only for small keepsakes such as cards, letters, small-sized gifts. This trunk should look nice in their smaller space and will be a place where they can view their precious memories from time to time.
A Memory Shelf
Of course, a nice shelf is great for displaying some of those types of items as well. This is where they can place their framed photographs, favorite books, etc. If your senior is disabled or even bedridden, be sure to place the shelf where they can view it from their chair or bed. A smaller keepsake box instead of a trunk might be in order for this purpose as well. This way they can easily sit the box beside them for perusing. There are many of these types of boxes available at hobby and craft stores.
Be Mindful of Taking It Slow
Don’t rush through the downsizing process. It will take time. So, a sufficient amount of time should be allotted for this task. This can be overwhelming, both energy-wise and emotionally, for an elderly person. So, it is best to approach the move with as much planning as possible.
Once you have completed your plan and know what you are and are not keeping, you can call in a professional moving crew. Interiors for Seniors to capable of facilitating all your needs from packing, to transporting, to unpacking at the new location. They are also able to assist you with an estate sale if that is your preference.
Call Missy Donaghy with Interiors for Seniors for a FREE consultation 321-279-3301.
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