Helping Our Loved One Enjoy Their Golden Years by Downsizing

by Bob Hummer 10/05/2021


 Photo by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay

There comes a time when family members must confront the realities of aging. It’s not uncommon for our parents and grandparents to still be living in properties that once housed multiple family members. The upkeep required for such residencies can place an undue burden on our elders, and downsizing remains a logical solution. That brings us to what everyday people need to know about how to help loved ones relocate, so they can enjoy their golden years to the fullest.

Have A Family Conversation About Moving

It’s not uncommon for well-meaning people to get frustrated when elders resist the notion of change. However, the sometimes difficult conversation about a valued elder’s diminishing ability to maintain a household must be approached with compassion and express the underlying loving intentions.

Keep in mind that they may have deep emotional connections to family homes, and you may be part of those feelings. From a parent or grandparent's perspective, leaving that place involves no longer living in a space where children took their first steps and other milestones. These connections are genuine, and it’s essential to bridge the conversation with facts, as well as feelings. These are items to discuss with great sensitivity.

  • Downsizing Provides A Manageable Space
  • Moving Could Bring Family Members Closer Together
  • The Process Is About Returning The Care You Received

It’s crucial to listen attentively to the emotional and fact-based issues that your elders bring up. Finding adequate resolutions can go a long way to laying the groundwork for a smooth transition.

Put Together A Moving Day Plan

Because the move is likely to include downsizing, creating a plan about what happens to items that will not make the trip remains a vital first step. Your loved one may have sentimental attachments to bulky furniture and a garage filled with boxed memories. Finding a suitable home for items that are not sellable or discardable is a must. Talking to your elder family members about passing on important heirlooms and keepsakes can yield a positive result. Other items might be good candidates for a self-storage unit. 

Tips

Sort And Organize

Securing items in labeled boxes that designate a particular room generally improves moving logistics. This process often requires more time and energy than the actual move and unpacking. Gathering friends and relatives to work through this labor-intensive aspect can streamline the time and make it more enjoyable for all. It’s sort of like a mini family gathering and worth a potluck meal or ordering pizza.

Moving Day Matters

Having appropriate-sized moving vehicles and enough strong backs are absolutely necessary. Successful moves often enlist a few extra friends to account for no-shows and the possibility of underestimating the amount of labor needed. Pack the vehicles with diligent care to minimize breaks and damage.

Efficient unloading entails placing each labeled box in its respective room for unpacking. It may be worthwhile to select a few team members to immediately begin unpacking necessities and setting up essentials such as a bed, table, chairs, and other items needed for prompt livability.

Making the moving experience a joyous event for your loved ones sets a tone that they are gaining an improved quality of life experience. It’s all about love and good logistics. 

About the Author
Author

Bob Hummer

Bob Hummer brings a wealth of experience with him; a practitioner in real estate in Northern Virginia since 1978, a Life Member of both the Million Dollar Sales Club and the Top Producers Club with over 1,500 Satisfied Families and President, Prince William Association of REALTORS in 1991. His experiences range from helping buyers and sellers attain their goals; to renovating historic homes on Capitol Hill; to counseling and assisting homeowners facing the loss of their home due to foreclosure. Since 1996, he has presented his free monthly Home Buyer and Home Seller seminars at the Woodbridge campus of Strayer University. A former "Military Brat" and a retired Air Force Hospital Administrator; Bob has made more than 25 moves during his life and is extremely familiar with all aspects of a family relocating - whether it is across the street or across the nation.