There are endless benefits to downsizing in your golden years, like taking advantage of lower energy bills, having a smaller space to maintain, and having the opportunity to move closer to loved ones. It’s a wonderful way to start the next stage of your life. Even so, it can be a difficult experience for older adults. Saying goodbye to a long-time home may not come easy, but there are steps you can take to make the transition as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Start the Conversation
Downsizing and moving to a Senior Living Community is a process, and coming to that decision usually takes time. Be honest with yourself and your feelings, and be open with your loved ones about this process. Be prepared for multiple conversations about moving to a Senior Living home where you and your loved one can talk through any concerns, plans, or hesitations. It’s important to make sure everybody is comfortable with the decisions throughout the process for the smoothest possible transition.
The sooner you discuss what downsizing will actually look like with your loved one, the more time there will be to evaluate options. Unless they have a medical or caregiving issue that hinders quality of life, there’s no need to rush the decision. It shouldn’t feel like an intervention – it should feel like a warm and meaningful conversation around options.
Focus on Your New Home
Establish exactly where a loved one is headed and how much space they will have available. This can add an exciting element to the moving process. Instead of focusing on the old, focus on the new and what’s to come. When moving into a Senior Living community, it is important to know what you can bring, and what is already provided by the community - especially in terms of furniture and home furnishings.
Many communities do allow for a large amount of personalization, though, so you can make your new space just right. Consider which decorations or personal items from home are most important to you, and you and your loved ones can enjoy personalizing your new space together.
Organize Your Belongings
It’s amazing the number of things one can acquire over a lifetime, and sorting through these possessions can be an incredibly emotional process for everyone. These aren’t just objects, they are memories, and it’s important to acknowledge and respect these connections. Having a conversation with your loved one about which items and belongings are most meaningful – and which are less – can help make downsizing a much more enjoyable event.
Try asking some of these questions when sorting through items:
- Is it a true necessity or do I just want to simply keep it?
- Is there sentimental value?
- Is it used frequently?
- Is there another item that performs the same function?
Downsizing is about simplifying. Help your loved one make the decision and feel confident in sticking with it.
Prepare for the Move
Moving is a lot easier after you and your loved one have gone through personal items and determined what to keep and what to let go. Family members can help make the move as stress-free as possible and can continue to be a support system through the process. Additionally, many of our locations provide move-in assistance which can help you transition as smoothly as possible.
Make the Transition
Getting used to a new home can be tricky, but at Pacifica we do all we can to make you feel at home. Our resident ambassadors make a point of welcoming in new residents, and helping them adjust to a new place. Each new resident can choose how much or how little to get involved with community activities - depending on their preferences - but friendly neighbors and peers make a point to invite and include them whenever possible.
Our staff, too, are here to make the transition as smooth as possible for new residents and their loved ones. Reach out to us with any questions, we are always here to assist and help you feel truly at home in your new community.
Learn more about Pacifica Senior Living Communities in your area. Or schedule a tour to experience the difference for yourself.
We can’t wait to welcome you home.