Moving your elderly family members should be easy, right. You just guide them in the right direction, plan the move, and implement the whole operation. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. By the time your elderly loved ones have reached their golden years they may not be able to remain in their home, but that doesn’t mean they’ll cooperate with your moving plan. You know that the house is either too big, too isolated, or too high maintenance; but they can be stubborn, and they want to stay.
Along with their well being, there are issues to consider that you may not have thought about. One of the most troublesome is what to do with their possessions. They don’t want to be separated from their treasures, so you have to handle this detail with sensitivity and compassion. Don’t get over enthusiastic and try to use anything like the Kon Mari method; it’s complex and everything they look at will spark joy. Let secure, affordable self storage be your lifesaver in this situation.
The following advice works best if you approach this experience before your senior loved ones are on a mental decline. Some people are still mentally focused at the age of 100, and some are declining at 70. These factors have to be considered along with this information.
Self Storage: Your Lifesaver
Include Seniors in Planning
Your loved ones may be concerned about trying to dispose of extra furniture and other items that they neither need nor have room for. This is a good time to ask family members to assist with sorting and packing, more for emotional than physical support. If they’re still healthy, be sure to include your elderly loved ones in these activities.
It’s comforting to seniors to see that their beloved possessions are going to be useful to others. Let them give items to friends and family members. These things that can be packed away or donated later if necessary.
Self Storage to the Rescue
If they aren’t already aware of it, explain the concept of self storage. Let seniors know that their treasures will be safe, and that they can retrieve their stored items any time they need or want them. Include them in the process as much as possible. Online rental and other contact-free self storage methods are popular right now, but this is not the best idea for seniors who are already skeptical. Allow them to see the facility and their unit. Include them in conversations with the manager and others in the office. They can help you design a plan for the self storage unit. Encourage them to mark boxes, make lists, help you shop for containers and shelving, and create a plan for placing items in the unit.
Keep, Discard, Donate
When you’re preparing to place your own possessions in self storage, you probably use the “keep, discard, donate” method. This will not be easy with the elderly. They’ll want to keep everything unless they’re giving it to someone they love. To get this task completed, have seniors work with you. Re-live fond memories, and talk about how the donated items will be of use to others. Let them keep as much as is possible. If they’re moving into your home, plan to give them their own bedroom where they can use some of their furniture and other belongings. The same holds true for moving to a small condo or assisted living. They need personal items to help them feel grounded and secure.
Handle with Compassion and Sensitivity
Self storage is a solution, but it won’t solve all of your problems. Not everyone will be happy with the compromises and sacrifices that have to be made in this situation. It’s an adjustment process for all involved, but it can also be an experience to grow. Involve family members, including school-age children, and use your critical thinking skills to plan and organize. You’d be surprised at the great ideas your kids will suggest. Ideally, knowing that your loved ones are safe and secure will reduce your stress and make it easier for you to help them adjust to this next chapter in their lives.