NOTE: This article has been posted before. We felt it was an appropriate time to update it to reflect changing trends and post the new, improved model. Enjoy!
If you were home for the holidays to visit Mom and Dad, you may have noticed some changes. They may seem fine on the phone, but a visit home often tells us things aren’t as good as we thought they were.
What can you do if you see some changes in your parents?
Maybe it is time for a move to a senior community or for making alterations to their home so they can age in place. If they have made either of these decisions on their own, commend them! If they have chosen to move, this is a big decision and the results are great when they make this choice themselves. If you feel that their health is in danger but they are choosing to stay at home, consult with them and their doctor if possible. Keep in mind that as they age, decisions about their well-being and where they choose to live may still be in their control. Put yourself in their place. What would you want your family to say to you? Support them in the choices they make when you can. If they choose to remain in their home, help them get good home healthcare so they are getting the help they need. Consider contacting a Senior Move Manger to help de-clutter their home. This would ensure space for items they may need to make them most comfortable and help prevent falls. Make sure they are safe in their home; many Senior Move Managers are trained in providing guidance for changes as needed to insure aging in place is safe, comfortable, and a good experience for both you and your parents.
How can you help if it is time to either move or prepare for aging in place?
Find a Senior Move Manager (SMM) in their area by visiting nasmm.org. A senior move manager associated with NASMM will provide your parents with the ethical care and assistance they need. They will have all of the best resources you need and often have already negotiated the best prices. They work with resources who understand the best process for handling the project, plus suggest reliable repair people, shipping companies to ship items to family, donation sources, buyers, and more!
What can you do next to help make a difference?
Offer to pick up things you have stored in their home, if you still want them. I’m amazed at how much our clients still store for their children! If they ask you what items you might want that they aren’t interesting in keeping, please arrange to get them promptly. This helps tremendously! If you don’t want items, let your parents know right away. Then they can feel free to let the items be sold or donated.
Don’t take things that you will end up storing or selling for a “better price.” We see this happen often. We senior move managers spend years finding the best sources for our clients’ precious metals, jewelry, etc. Unless you truly know what you are doing, leave this to the experts we bring to the process. We all want your parents to benefit the most from the sale of their items to offset their moving or home repair costs.
Finally, if Mom and Dad have decided to part with things, don’t insist they move or store them just to keep them safe for you! Support their decisions to de-clutter and simplify. And when it comes to the things that Mom and Dad choose to give to you, stay thankful and work together with your siblings. No item is worth fighting over. Your family relationships matter most…no one can take the stuff with them when they are gone!
After you have done the above, a senior move manager can efficiently help your parents navigate the transition of the move or home update. It’s always nice for family to be with the parents throughout the process to offer support while work is underway. This a great time to have lunch, go see a movie, do some shopping or visiting, or whatever activities your parents like to do.
Copyright 2016 by Christine E. Smart
Designing Moves LLC
222 3rd St. SE #525
Cedar Rapids IA 52401 (by appointment only)