Downsizing or “Rightsizing”

As we go through life’s journey, we move from one home to another and that is usually the point where so many of us decide what to keep, what to donate, and what items are to be tossed. Imagine living in a home for 40 years, having raised children there, hosting many a party or holiday event – what fond memories those must have been for so many! That said, a home is a taskmaster that requires ongoing cleaning, maintenance and of course, those lovely bills that manage to find their way to your mailbox.

Senior couple with moving boxes

With illness or aging, the chores related to the home often fall to the wayside because there may be a lack of energy, or an actual inability to perform the cleaning and maintenance. The majority of people want to remain in their home throughout their lives, but often the reality of doing so can be a difficult thing to manage. Choices may then have to be made – if an elder person leaves their home, how do they choose where to live and then what belongings can they even take with them? That large sideboard may not fit into the floor plan of their new home, no matter how loved it is.
To ease this transition, often a senior move manager can be called in to help organize the belongings, arrange for an estate sale and assist with figuring out how furniture will fit into the new home or apartment. They will also either do the actual move or contract with a moving company, and even help set up and unpack in the new home. These professionals often have training in the relocation issues that occur for older adults, including having compassion for the uprooting and major change that is pending. This can take a huge burden off the family and caregivers by helping them see the situation objectively, without the emotional attachment to the household articles.
If you had to downsize tomorrow, how would you choose what to keep, what to sell? Would you be able to help your aging loved one do the same?


Author: Cheryl A. Acres RN, CCM

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