Assisted Living Ashland

The Emotional Journey of Downsizing for Senior Housing: Tips for Seniors and Their Families

The process of downsizing in preparation for senior housing can be an emotional rollercoaster. Having to sort out what to keep and what to let go through possessions you have accumulated for decades can be quite difficult as most of these are tied to memories.

Although this can be a difficult journey, downsizing is also an opportunity to embrace this new chapter in your life. Downsizing can be a way of letting go of the past and looking forward to a new beginning. With time and careful thought, downsizing can be properly managed.

Transitioning to Senior Housing

Now that you and your loved one have decided which senior housing to go to, it is time to start planning and sorting what to bring, and what can be discarded, donated, or sold to make the moving process much easier.

As moving from one place to another can be overwhelming and stressful, it is important to work with your loved ones. Fortunately, the negative feelings of relocation can be addressed.

First, it is a good idea to have ample time to process everything before packing. Having the extra time will give both parties the much-needed time to take in the changes and look forward to this new chapter that waits ahead in senior housing. Make the most of the time discussing the move, and asking how your loved one feels to have insights on how they’re feeling. Through this, you can provide the emotional support necessary to process their feelings.

Another thing is to set proper expectations. Discuss what to expect before, during, and after the move to put their minds at ease. This is also an opportunity to gather information and answer questions that will help them get excited about the big move.

Tips for Downsizing

Here’s a list of what to prepare when transitioning to senior housing:

Make a list of what needs to be brought to senior housing and what needs to be discarded. Start with the stuff with no emotional value like those stored at the garage.

Visit your senior apartment so you can visualize what items to put in, allowing you to determine which items are not necessary anymore.

Do not dispose of things right away, instead, articulate each item’s purpose. Does it bring joy? If not, you can start giving things away. Contact charities to arrange convenient pick-ups and drop-offs.

Important items that you cannot bring to your new place can still be enjoyed by someone else. Instead of throwing, you might want to consider giving them to friends or loved ones. Or consider hosting a garage sale.

Or if you cannot part with some items, consider renting a storage that is affordable and just nearby.

Involve your family or friends to help identify sentimental items, and assist you in sorting, labeling, organizing, and packing. At the same time, these people will keep the process fun while helping you handle emotions as you go.

Being well-prepared emotionally, mentally, and physically will help families and seniors make this transition as smooth as possible.


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Oxbow Living offers Assisted Living & Memory Care out of Nebraska and to the Surrounding Cities: Ashland, South Bend, Greenwood, Murdock, Elmwood, Ithaca, Mead