Don't let "Scaling Down" become a "Show Down"

Don’t let "scaling down" become “a show down” at your parents house when it comes time to move to their new home. You know in your heart of hearts, the last thing your parents would want is fighting among family members.

Scaling down for a loved one is difficult. Family complexities and emotions are always a part of the downsizing process. Your parents may have lived in their house for as long as you have been alive, or perhaps your mother or father had remarried, and now, it is a blended family and may involve step brothers and sisters. Whatever the situation, when it comes time to move your parents into a smaller place, some of their furniture and other possessions undoubtedly will not be going with them. Having to give up some of their prized possessions, is where the dilemma begins. Be sure to involve your parents and all family members in the conversations ahead of time - it will ease the situation and avoid compounding bad feelings or even bringing up old hurt feelings.

During the family discussion, don't be surprised if you hear statements such as:

“I lived the closest and helped the most.”

“You live so far away; getting things to you will be costly or difficult.”

“I am the only son or I am the only daughter.”

Don't let these kinds of statements steer you away from the topic at hand - just remember that this is a time of high emotion for everyone. By having these conversations ahead of time, everyone will know which items will go with your parents and which items won't.

Always ask yourself these three questions when deciding on what should go with your parents:

*  Is it really necessary in the new space?

*  Will it work or fit in the new space?

*  Will my parents spirits be lifted when I unpack it?

If the answer is yes, try and make sure it goes with your parents to their new home.

Moving parents is daunting, so prepare emotionally for the steps you will need to take. Put a sticky on those pieces of furniture your parents will be taking. Do the easy rooms first, either a dining room, bathroom or linen or hall closet. This will give you an idea of how your parents will react to downsizing. If possible, clear a room that is not being used and move items that are not being moved to the new residence, or being given to family members, into this room. Decisions will need to be made as to what will happen with these items after the move occurs.

If scaling down for your parents is too overwhelming, Senior Living Decisions can give you guidance. Contact us - serving seniors is our passion.

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