Have you had THAT conversation with your parent(s) yet?
You know the one – where you believe their home is too large for them?
You think that they would be much better off in smaller more manageable place such a lifestyle village or retirement home.
Maybe you only mentioned Aged Care once?
How did it go?
Not good – was the subject was changed even before you started – or did it turn into a full scale argument?
Geez, you would think you were talking to a baby with their tantrums and stubbornness on the subject! You only brought it up because you love them, and want them to be happy right?
Right, but I still think they are a Baby – a BABY BOOMER!
They’ve survived world wars, hardship, loss and change more than any other generation has done since. Their stubbornness is probably due to them ‘hearing’ you say….
“Hey ma before you die, let’s get rid of all your stuff!”
It definitely isn’t easy for a family member to comprehend de-cluttering and downsizing their footprint. Having to make a decision on which mementos stays and which goes, when they all have happy memories attached to them. Even before dealing with the subject of where they are going to live, it forces them to face their mortality.
However, to plan ahead whilst your parent(s) are able to participate is the first big step.
To start to ease into the family discussion, rather than declaring World War III, may we suggest the following tips:-
- REMEMBER – it’s their life, their home and therefore THEY are in charge.
- FEELINGS should always be a major consideration, especially theirs.
- LISTEN rather than talk – asking how you can help or suggest ideas only when asked
- START now, encourage your parent(s) to talk about downsizing their estate, no matter how young – it’s good to plan for their future, because they do have one!
It could also be a role reversal, in that they are finding it difficult to approach the subject with their grown kids, without feeling as if they are burdening or inviting them to take over the whole process. If your parent(s) have broached the subject, then the tips above should still apply.
Once the decision to downsize has been made, try and begin the de-cluttering process sooner rather than later and talk through the options of downsizing, even seek professional advice from an Aged Placement Consultant.
You can make it even easier with a professional organisation, such as ne: Solutions, who can help with all the decisions on decluttering and downsizing without the hard work. ne: Solutions are NASMM Senior Move Managers ®, and provide guidance, encouragement and hands-on help. We understand the physical and emotional stresses associated with later lifestyle changes, as well as the ethical, safety and communications issues that accompany working with older adults.