It is often the job of friends and family to help an older adult to see when it is a good time to downsize their space. Keep reading for tips on how to usher your loved one into this new phase of life.
The desire of older family members to “age in place” is understandable. The home they live in often represents more than just a practical space to live their lives out of. In many cases, it represents raising kids, the life they created with a spouse, and the choices they made to make a house a home.
It is often the job of friends and family to help them see when it is a good time to transition into a senior living community or simply downsize their space. Keep reading for tips on how to usher your loved one into this new phase of life.
The Value of Downsizing to a One-Bedroom Apartment
The first question you are likely to encounter when you suggest downsizing to your aging parent is, “Why?”
It is difficult for older adults to adjust to the idea of leaving their family home, but the benefits abound. You can share these positive outcomes with them:
Living in a smaller space can save money.
If you have a significant amount of equity in your home, downsizing to a residence with smaller square footage could free up some money.
Additionally, you will cut costs on your mortgage, property taxes and utility expenses. Repair and maintenance costs will likely decrease too. You could use these savings to live in or travel to desirable spots.
Managing an apartment is much less demanding.
Whether you manage other people to take care of your property or you still do it all yourself, you will have less to worry about when you’re in a small space.
In an apartment, you can enjoy the benefits of a maintenance-free lifestyle. You will have less fear of injury, reduced stress and more free time to do what you want.
Paring down makes future moves easier.
The amount of stuff that accumulates over life can be overwhelming. Perhaps you have a basement you use as storage or furnished rooms you don’t use. It would be a good idea to start small and slowly begin to get rid of (or give away) the things you don’t need.
Even if you are not ready to move now, putting this work in now will prepare you for an eventual (or even unavoidable) move.
Moving allows you to choose a new location.
If you have always wanted to live in a certain geographical area or in an area near your family, downsizing could give you this opportunity.
Maybe the changes you need are modifications to your home to make it more accessible. You could accomplish all this in one fell swoop.
3 Tips for Making Downsizing Easier
The paring-down responsibility always lands on someone when a loved one is downsizing. It is considerably more enjoyable when it is a group endeavor. Start early while the homeowner is in good health and can work alongside their family members.
Map out your new square footage.
Whether it is in a living room, a basement or a particularly big bedroom, measure out the dimensions of the new residence. Seeing the space will help you make realistic decisions about what items can come with you.
Ban a “maybe” pile.
As you are sorting through your kitchen, your hallway closet, or your home office, make three piles: “keep,” “give away,” and “get rid of.” Eliminating the option in the middle is a time-management trick. It helps keep the process rolling and reduces the amount of time you spend on a single object.
How To Find Joy in the Experience of Downsizing
Adjusting to this new stage of life does not have to be all responsibility and no joy. Whether your family member is moving into an Assisted Living community, a Carefree living community, or simply renting a smaller space, this process can be a meaningful experience.
Some ways that you can encourage positivity during this transition are:
Linger on memories.
As you sort through spaces in the family home, you are bound to find objects that elicit emotion and recall stories. Take this time to share these with one another.
Emphasize what your loved one is gaining, not losing.
There are always sacrifices or things we miss when we make big moves in life. Help your loved one focus on the possibilities, like meeting new people and participating in new activities, instead of the loss.
Ask for help.
Whether you reach out to friends and family to assist or hire a Senior Move Manager® from the National Association of Specialty & Senior Move Managers®, extra hands can make a huge difference.
Imagine life with them.
One of the more exciting parts of moving is picturing life in your new home. Help your loved one envision themself in their new space by looking at blueprints and pictures. Help them see the opportunities in front of them by exploring their new community.
Floor Plans at CedarStone Senior Living
At CedarStone Senior Living, we offer studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom floor plans that are unfurnished and ready for you to put your mark on. Along with our services and amenities, these apartments offer a familiar and comfortable environment.
Contact us today at 319-242-3323.