As an older adult, you may feel the need to reduce your home size and simplify your life. Downsizing from a larger house to something smaller can give you peace of mind and relieve the stress that comes from maintaining a home with so much stuff. There are many benefits of downsizing as a senior, including a lower cost of living and reduced maintenance costs. Downsizing also gives you more time to enjoy yourself instead of spending so much time cleaning and maintaining your home.
However, there are some challenges involved with downsizing as well. It’s difficult to let go of sentimental items or rent out a spare room when you have grown children who don’t live nearby. This article will discuss some tips for downsizing as a senior parent so that you can make this transition as easy as possible.
Selling Makes Letting Go Easier
One of the hardest parts of helping seniors downsize is letting go of things. How do you clear out your parent’s house without causing a lot of emotional distress? Selling things from the house makes it easier than throwing them away or donating them.
Selling things helps make more space in the house, which will make it easier to downsize. Be sure to sell items that you don’t want at a price you don’t mind. You don’t want to get stuck with your own stuff.
You can sell items online or at a yard sale. If you don’t want to deal with selling items, you can donate them to charity. Just be sure you get a receipt so you can deduct them from your taxes. If you have a lot of things that should be thrown away, then it may be a good idea to rent a dumpster. The average cost of a dumpster is between $292 and $483, so it is cost-effective if there are large items or a lot to throw out.
Downsize to a More Premium Option
Another big problem is convincing them to move. How do you convince an elderly person to move? Easy, by making it more inviting and enjoyable to do so.
If your parents need to move to a smaller place, it’s a good idea for them to downsize to a more premium option. It will likely be one of the last places that they own or rent, and choosing a more premium option will make it more comparable to living in a larger place.
For example, if they are living in a mid-size middle-class house, it may be a good idea to move to a one-bedroom apartment with more amenities and a more luxury focus. When comparing the two, the house normally seems like a more comfortable option. Upgrading to a more upscale apartment makes it easier to compare the two. Your parent trades space for more luxury and comfort, which is an easier decision to make.
Find a Place With Family Close By
How do you take care of an aging parent long distance? It is hard to do so and requires a network of assistants in the area where they live.
When downsizing, try to move your parent into a place with family or friends nearby. Downsizing often means moving away from the place where they used to live for much of their lives. This can end many relationships that keep seniors happy and engaged, which can be a major problem later in life.
A place that has plenty of public transportation options is also a good idea. This will make it easier for your parents to get around, even if they don’t have a car. It may be a good idea to find a place with a grocery store and pharmacy that are close by.
Automate Anything That You Can
Depending on where your parent lives now, they may still have a need for certain services and other resources. If at all possible, automate them. For example, use Amazon subscriptions to get basic household goods like dish soap and cleaning supplies. Use a food delivery service to make sure that they can always get the food that they need when they need it. Find ways of making it easier and automatic for your parent to get what they need.
For example, you can set up auto-pay for your bills, or set up an investment plan that automatically withdraws money from your account each month. This will help reduce the need for paperwork and make things more convenient for your parents. It may be a good idea to set up online banking and bill payment options. It makes it much easier for your parents to pay their bills, and it will make it easier for you to keep track of their expenses.
Think Ahead to End-of-Life Choices
When you are downsizing, it’s a good idea to think about what your parent’s end-of-life wishes are. There are many choices you can make prior to moving that will make the end-of-life transition easier for your parent.
For example, you can decide where you would like to be taken if you are unable to drive or take public transportation. This includes finding a nursing home or assisted living facility. Look for these options before you downsize so that you can move them to an area where these services already exist. That way, they won’t have to relocate to an entirely new area when the time comes.
Base Decisions on Long-Term Finances
While you are making decisions about what to keep and what to let go, you may want to base your decisions on long-term finances. For example, you may want to keep a fancy car that you don’t drive very often, but it may be a good idea to sell the car and invest the money instead.
This will help make your parent’s finances more secure in the long term. You may want to make decisions based on long-term finances even if you have enough money to cover your expenses now. It will also help you be prepared for financial emergencies in the future, such as a health problem or a car that needs repairs.
It may be a good idea to set up a budget and figure out exactly how much money you need each month to cover your expenses. This will help you figure out where to make adjustments so that you can make a long-term financial plan that works for your situation.
Don’t Wait Until It is Too Late
When should parents downsize? The simple answer is that you will know when it cannot be put off any longer. However, it’s important to do this sooner rather than later. It may be a good idea to start downsizing even before your parent has to move out of their home. This will give you more time to make decisions and will make it easier for your parents to make the transition to a new house.
For example, people often think about retiring and downsizing to an easier situation to manage. Do most retirees downsize? It depends on the retiree, but most think about it in some capacity. The fact that they are retiring means that working is becoming more difficult and daily living skills likely are as well. Downsizing can reduce the stress on all of them.
There may be some downsizing that you can do right now, such as cleaning out your closet or donating items you don’t use. If your parent needs to move soon, you may want to wait to make some decisions, such as deciding which items to keep and sell. Make sure to start downsizing as soon as possible so that your parent has more time to get ready for the transition.
Make Choices that Make Downsizing Enjoyable
When you are downsizing, it’s important to remember that this is a huge change for your parent, and it’s something that they may not be looking forward to. You can make this transition easier for your parent by keeping a few things in mind.
First, make sure the new living space is in an area that your parent like. This can make it easier for your loved one to feel comfortable in their new home.
Second, make sure the new living space is close to good shopping, medical facilities, or other forms of entertainment. This will make it easier for your parent to have a good time. Living close by so that you can spend time with your parent too can also be a good option.
Downsize to An Assisted Living Facility
Another option is to downsize straight to an assisted living facility. Many families find themselves in this situation due to unexpected changes. At Garden Care, we provide all of the services that your loved ones need to live a happy and active life. To get the best care for your loved ones, contact Garden Care for assistance. Call us at 303-566-1085 to schedule a consultation today.