Paring down your belongings can be an emotionally taxing experience. Although it’s often hard to part with items of sentimental value, you may be surprised to discover that your adult children are actually far more distraught than you. Following are a few strategies from the leading provider of elder care Hinsdale families trust for helping them get on board with these efforts.
Host a Family Gathering
Bring everyone together to discuss your decision to downsize. This is far better than simply springing the idea on your loved ones. It gives adult children the chance to adapt to the forthcoming changes and to emotionally prepare for them. This is also a great time for taking new family photographs and for starting the process of parting things out. You can even put together small gift baskets or boxes of family treasures to pass on to each of your guests.
Explain Why Downsizing Is So Important
Talk to your kids about the reasons why you have opted to downsize. You may be having a hard time keeping things clean or you may need to move into a smaller and more manageable home in order to maintain your independence and an acceptable life quality. Understanding your reasoning could be enough to help your children come to terms with your decision.
Let Your Adult Children Tell You Which Items They Want to Keep
You likely have several boxes of old, unused items that you’re planning to give away to charity. Let your adult children go through these first. Although many of these things may not hold value to you, they could still mean something to your kids. Before finalizing any donations, give your family the opportunity to pick out things that they want for themselves or for their own children.
Gently remind your family that you have a right to structure your life according to your own preferences and requirements. You should never feel pressured into doing or keeping things that you don’t want, simply to accommodate someone else’s emotional needs. Keep in mind that adult children may be less grieved about the loss of tangible items and more distraught over the changes that they are recognizing in you. When this is the case, giving them plenty of time and space to reach a state of acceptance could be necessary.
Many times, seniors downsize to make day-to-day living more manageable for them. If this situation sounds familiar, know that additional help and support is available. At Home Care Assistance, we offer live-in, part-time, and respite care in Hinsdale and the Greater Chicago area. Our caregivers can run errands, cook healthy meals, assist with light housekeeping, and much more. Give a friendly Care Manager a call today at (847) 906-3991 to learn more.