The benefits of moving to a smaller, more manageable property can be huge for an elderly person who is losing their mobility, needing to raise funds for their care, or wanting to move closer to family and friends. But a great many people are unable to make that move – simply because they cannot face letting go of decades of accumulated belongings and all the attached memories.
This can also cause a great deal of stress to family, who are trying to move a parent or relative and may need some assistance as to how to tackle the problem, which is why elderly advice website www.myageingparent.com,has come up with a new guide to help families navigate the process and guide them through the process sympathetically, to reduce the pain and stress involved.
“Moving home is one of the most stressful experiences in anyone’s life,” says Deborah Stone of www.myageingparent.com, “but when you are younger and stronger, or you can see a move as a positive step in your life, you cope. But later in life, it can be a difficult, unwanted move too far without sympathetic help and support.
“The prospect of packing up a beloved home can seem overwhelming. For many elderly people, this becomes a reason to delay or defer a move that would really help their health and, in many cases their finances as well.”
Statistics show that some five percent of the UK’s older population now live in 18,000 dedicated retirement developments, which offer help and support on residents – a number that is sure to grow as our population ages. By 2033, there will be 3.3 million people aged 85 and over in the UK. One of the ‘downsides of downsizing’ for the elderly person is that the place they are moving to is inevitably smaller. So how can you help an elderly relative come to terms with that?
Together with Margaret Wilson, a professional ‘declutterer and downsizer’ and former psychiatric nurse, Myageingparent.com has compiled a handy guide that will take much of the stress out of the move for both the older person and their family.
“Supporting an elderly person to make a move means much more than simply packing up boxes and calling in a removal firm,” says Margaret. “It’s really important to recognise and understand the physical, emotional and cognitive changes faced by an older adult – and the impact this will have on their ability to cope with a move.
“No one should underestimate the emotional impact that clearing and sorting a lifetime’s possessions will have: the process will involve rediscovering forgotten possessions, reliving memories that may be bitter-sweet and making dozens of decisions that will have permanent impact.
Families need to stay positive, and help their relatives to look forward to the end goal of improved circumstances, but equally they will need to give them time to treasure the memories and respect the trauma of letting go. Amongst Margaret’s proven tips is to create a photographic record of special items or collections.
“There are many excellent reasons for someone to downsize,” says Deborah. “And it’s a tragedy that many elderly people remain in homes that are too big for them – and expensive to run and remain too far away for their families to care and visit them regularly. Moving to the safe environment of a dedicated retirement accommodation with company on your doorstep and support on hand can add years to someone’s life expectancy.”
An added social bonus to downsizing is that every time an elderly person moves into a retirement property, they can release a much-needed family size home. According to the recently formed Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO), if just 5% more older occupiers moved to a retirement development, this would lead to 210,000 family sized homes being released back to the general housing market.
You can find the complete guide here:
For more details, please contact Deborah Stone on 07768 firstname.lastname@example.org