Successfully Downsizing And Decluttering Aging Parents Homes

Couple helps parents downsize their home by packing valuables in boxes

All of us have had to move for one reason or another. From the college freshman who’s living away from home for the first time to the young adult in their first apartment to the couple about to become homeowners, moving is an integral part of our lives. While it can be an exciting experience in many ways, It’s also one of the most overwhelming experiences, too. 

Sorting, packing, unpacking, rearranging and acclimating to a new place. None of those moving activities are fun. In fact, they’re pretty stressful. However, if you think those things are no fun at your current age, imagine how much more difficult they will be when you’re a senior. 

When seniors have to downsize and relocate to a new home, all of that sorting, packing, unpacking and acclimating to a new environment aren’t just physically exhausting – they’re mentally and emotionally taxing, too. Seniors are just assessing and packing objects; they’re reflecting on a lifetime of memories and experiences. To them, the move doesn’t signify the start of a new beginning. To them, decluttering, downsizing and moving to a smaller home, apartment or their adult child’s home is the beginning of the end. 

If your elderly parents refuse to downsize and move into a more suitable residence, please understand that you’re not alone. This experience is quite common for most families. However, with equal parts patience, empathy and planning, you can help make this phase of your senior parents or relatives lives more pleasant for everyone. 

To help your senior loved ones successfully organize their belongings and relocate to their new residence simply follow these helpful steps.

Start Cleaning and Organizing Early

If your aging parents haven’t reached the point when they need to downsize, you can help them get a head start on the organizing process now – without having to approach the subject of moving in the near future. 

Help them with their spring or fall cleaning. Use this as an opportunity to help them take stock of their possessions. In the guise of everyday cleaning and sorting, they’ll often be more receptive to donating items they no longer need, shredding old paperwork and rearranging their layouts to be more organized, accommodating and less cluttered. 

Then when the time comes when they have to move and downsize, they’ll already be prepared for the experience.  

Make Seniors a Part of the Process

When adults try to help their aging parents or family members it often seems like a reversal of traditional roles. When the parent feels like the child it can be jarring and, in some cases, humiliating. 

If a senior, especially one that is still capable of living independently, feels like they are losing control and/or being forced into a situation by their adult children, they may feel anger and resentment. This is especially true when the subject of downsizing and moving to a new home comes up. If an aging parent believes a child is trying to make their own life easier by forcing them to move and part with their possessions, they may dig their heels in even further. 

To avoid this scenario, it’s best to include them in the downsizing process. Instead of cleaning, sorting, organizing and disposing of their belongings without their involvement, ask them to assist. Then, to make the situation less jarring, ask them to recall the stories associated with certain items as you pack them up for the move. This action makes the process feel more like a shared experience and less like an audit. 

Show Seniors Respect  

When you’re assisting your parents in their downsizing efforts, remember to keep their feelings in mind. What may seem like “stuff” to you, has value and meaning to them. Some items, even the smallest ones, may be high in sentimental value.

If they are having trouble parting with certain items, you can always suggest that they give these possessions to family members. Classifying these items as heirlooms can make parting with them much more manageable for your aging loved ones. It lets them know that their memories will remain with their families for years to come. 

Moving and downsizing is never easy at any age. It’s especially difficult for seniors. However, the experience can be less difficult for everyone when you carry out the tasks with empathy, encouragement and compassion. 

If your aging parents or family members have recently moved into a new residence and require home care, don’t feel you have to be the lone provider. Let the certified specialists at Keen Home Care lend a helpful hand. 
Contact us today to learn more about our home care services for your aging loved ones.

Fun At-Home Activities For Aging Loved Ones

Elderly women wearing red shirt using a watering can to water plant at home

Isolation. It’s one of the biggest challenges our aging loved ones face. As they grow older, our senior parents and family members spend more time at home and indoors. Health concerns, limited mobility and other effects of aging often prevent them from visiting some of their favorite places and enjoying some of their favorite activities. This can be discouraging and disheartening for our older family members especially if they were active, outdoorsy or just social butterflies. 

To reduce these feelings of isolation, it’s important for you and your family members to engage with your senior family members. You can help them understand that, although they may not be able to participate in some activities, there are plenty of other fun things they can do at home. And best of all, you can do these activities with them! 

Below are some activities for elderly family members that they and their family can enjoy at home! 

Activities for Aging Loved Ones with Greater Mobility

If your seniors have good mobility, then they may still be able to enjoy some of their favorite activities – with a few minor adjustments: 

  • Gardening – If your mom, dad, aunt or uncle earned a reputation as the family member with the greenest thumb, then this activity is ideal for them! While bending, kneeling and lifting may be more difficult these days, they can still garden with a little bit of assistance from you or other family members. During the winter months, they can keep their gardening skills sharp by planting an indoor herb garden. Best of all, they can use the herbs in their dinners and share them with their family members! 
  • Cooking – Does your senior loved one love cooking? Are they the keepers of a legendary recipe that’s been in the family for generations? If so, you can help them continue to enjoy cooking by being their personal sous chef! They can still call the shots in the kitchen, but you can assist them with some of the minor tasks such as chopping, dicing, lifting and cleaning. Plus, they’ll be able to share these special recipes with you so that these favorite family dishes can be enjoyed for years to come. 
  • Crafting – If crocheting, knitting, sewing, scrapbooking and other crafts and hobbies are their passion, then break out the hooks, glue guns and other tools of the trade for some great at-home fun! Or if they’ve never had the time to craft but want to learn, that’s no problem. The two of you can watch some online crafting tutorials together and learn along the way! 

Activities for Aging Loved Ones with Limited Mobility

Senior loved ones with limited mobility may be having a tougher time adjusting to being homebound and slightly less independent. While they may be unable to perform certain activities that they enjoyed, there are still lots of wonderful things they can enjoy with you and the family!

  • Playing Board or Card Games – Does your senior loved one have a competitive streak? Do they love building their brain power? Or maybe they just love a table full of family members having fun? No matter which scenario describes your aging parent or relative, they’ll be thrilled if you and other family members pull up a seat and play some games. Whether it’s a two-person game like chess or a multi-player favorite like Monopoly, they’ll enjoy every moment of this activity. 
  • Listening to Music – Sharing their passion with others is something many music fans enjoy. So find a comfy spot in their living room, pour everyone a cup of coffee or tea, and listen to some of their favorite tunes on the radio, voice assistant device or record player. The best part about this activity is that it usually acts as a catalyst for senior’s memories. Certain songs bring back great memories that they can share with you and the family. 
  • Sitting Outside – Their limited mobility may prevent them from driving or walking around their neighborhood. But they can still enjoy the beauty of the outdoors from their own backyard. When the weather is warm, take the conversation and the refreshments outside and enjoy the sunshine, gentle breezes and birdsongs. 

These are just a few of the many fun at-home activities your elderly family members can enjoy with their families, friends and neighbors throughout the year. We hope they inspired and motivated you to spend more time with your aging family members to help them stay engaged and reduce their feelings of loneliness and isolation. 

When you cannot be there to assist your aging parents or relatives, let the certified specialists at Keen Home Care help. We are here to help you and your family find the right solutions for your life care management needs. 

Contact us today to learn more about our home care solutions and resources! 

Benefits of In-Home Care Services During A Pandemic

An in-home care services professional assisting a patient with medication.

After a year that could best be described as “challenging”, a strong sense of optimism is on the horizon. Thanks to this spring’s vaccination progress, the restrictions that paused many everyday activities are being lifted and the world seems to be heading in the right direction. Though this progress is cause for celebration, COVID-19 continues to be a significant threat to many in our community, primarily our senior members. And one of the places that puts them in the greatest risk of exposure is a healthcare facility. 

To help our senior loved ones receive the care they need and protect them from the lingering dangers of COVID-19, many families are choosing in-home care services. Here’s why: 

Safety

Despite increased vaccination rates, there are still many individuals who remain at high risk. Seniors with compromised immune systems due to medical conditions or medication are included in that unfortunate category. In-home care services greatly reduce the risk of exposure by keeping seniors safe at home. If seniors and families are still concerned about inviting people from outside their bubble inside their homes, there are instances where telehealth can be used to perform check-ins and consultations. 

Caregiver Support

Spouses, adult children and family members want to be there for their senior loved ones and provide as much care as possible. But there are times when family commitments, work obligations and emergencies make it difficult. Opening the doors to at-home care services for seniors gives family caregivers the opportunity to not only participate in these activities, it also provides the opportunity to relax for their own peace of mind. 

Friendship 

As seniors are spending more time indoors due to the pandemic, medical condition or declining health, they are missing out on the day-to-day interactions with their friends and neighbors. When at-home care professionals visit their house, seniors receive more than healthcare; they also get to enjoy a bit of the companionship they’ve been denied due to the pandemic or their medical conditions. In that sense, these specialists become more than just valued caregivers; they become trusted friends. When in-home care providers visit, they break down that sense of isolation and boast their patients’ well being. 

These are just a few of the many benefits of in-home care services for elderly family members during the current pandemic. If you’re interested in learning more about our at-home care services in the Long Beach area, please contact us today. We would be happy to help answer any questions you may have!