Whether downsizing by choice, or coming to realize that a little daily help would be a good thing, moving from the family home to a smaller space is a challenge for many seniors and their families. Though that last big move always requires much work, there are ways to make it less stressful and put everyone’s mind at ease when all is said and done.
Organizing Functional Areas
Deciding what to move to an independent living, mildly assisted living apartment, or assisted living in Virginia can be challenging. Any kitchen is assured to be much smaller than the old familiar one. Most facilities offer two or three common meals each day. There will be no need for a tiny kitchen to function in the same way as the old home kitchen and large dining room. Your new place still can be organized similarly to the home kitchen, however. If dishes are immediately to the right of the sink in the home kitchen, then they can occupy the corresponding space in the new kitchen. Keeping item types organized similarly to where they have been in the old home kitchen brings some familiarity, and avoids some memory issues.
Dividing Those Antiques
Clearly, a parent going to a smaller space will need to make some choices about what to keep, and what to let go. The parent has the first choice, of course, though one approach is to have everyone involved list the items important to them and decide from there where heirlooms and antiques will go and mean the most. Each person has different significant memories that may be attached to those antiques, and if the family can do the listing exercise before the move, a parent will be able to take pieces they want to the new place, and everyone knows which family member a specific piece will go to when they are finished with it.
The Old Place
In certain cases even when a parent moves out, the old home will not be sold. If it is a piece of property with valuable land, or a house with generations of memory, it may be something to consider before deciding to go for a smaller living space. Perhaps it will be inherited by a family member, and other times harder decisions must be made. Make sure the parent’s wishes are being fulfilled by calling in a realtor who can finalize all legal documentation on the property. Be sure you have all these matters settled well before a move.
Downsizing and moving to a community populated by other seniors can be highly positive for a parent, particularly if they are a social type who enjoys being around others. That last big move is still stressful, however, as all moves are. Planning and cooperation are invaluable, and everyone must remember that the parent’s needs are the central issue.