There are many great things about being a senior – such as enjoying your “golden years” and having the time to do all you’ve always wanted to do. But one thing most don’t touch upon is the topic of senior downsizing. It’s something that 99.9% of senior couples and singles are going to have to do, no matter what the circumstances are. So let’s talk about some of the practical tips and emotional support your senior loved one will need during this time.
How To Help Seniors Downsize
Every object has a memory wrapped around it. This is something to keep in mind as you begin this process with your senior loved one. Now some of these memories will be small and the memories are trivial, it is easy to donate them to charity or toss them away if they are old and faded with time. But other objects are more challenging – what about a wedding dress that her mother wore? It’s unlikely that another family member will want to wear it in a celebration and sometimes no one else wants to keep it as well. Each time you help a senior go through objects and items, it will bring up memories – both positive and negative. Sometimes even happy memories will bring tears as they realize those times are gone and now they have to let go of the object they have left from then. So do your best to be patient, kind and gentle during this process with your senior loved one.
Find a charity your senior loved one supports that can take some of the items. Today many charities will come to pick up clothing, furniture, household appliances and more. Some include Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Big Brothers and Big Sisters and the Humane Society to name a few. But do your best to find one that has some meaning to your senior loved one, so this way you are not simply “getting rid of” items but they are going to do something important that they will believe in. This will give them some comfort as they go through the downsizing process.
Understand that there will be a few items that they will simply not want to get rid of. Even if it is impractical to do so, your senior loved one will want to keep them. One senior woman was determined to keep her husband’s huge recliner chair long after he was gone, it brought back many happy memories for her to just see it every day. You as a family member or friend may be tempted to argue or fuss with them, but realize that downsizing is not just about practicality, we are all human beings with hearts, souls and feelings. Most of us cannot get rid of every object in our lives without thinking about them. I doubt you could rid your home of a few special things right now if YOU were a senior – even if someone told you they would be hard to keep! So it is your duty as a friend or loved one to try to help make this possible, whenever it is possible. The good news is that quite often it is – and it will make your senior loved one smile in a way that many other things will not right now.
Take advantage of putting things in to storage whenever possible. Some things your senior loved one will want to be passed down to loved ones but they may not be ready to receive them. They may have a grandchild in college who would love furniture once they graduate or a daughter or a son who would like items once they move to a larger apartment. Or perhaps your senior loved one would like to keep holiday decorations and other items they would like to put up but they don’t have the room for them where they are. Storage is likely the best answer.
Make plans to create a beautiful home or living environment once downsizing is complete. If it has become time to clear out the attic and the children’s rooms (now adults, long grown with children of their own!), this process will bring up emotions. But do something nice for your senior. They may be planning to move to a care facility soon or putting their home on the market. Take that extra step to make this process not simply about getting rid of clutter, but about being comfortable with the next stage they are welcoming into their lives.
Storage Facilities around Knoxville, TN suitable for Senior Downsizing
Hayfield Mini Storage
201 Hayfield Road
Knoxville, Tennessee 37922
Aaron Super Storage
6626 Asheville Hwy
Knoxville, TN 37924
1540 Lovell Rd
Knoxville, TN 37932