Downsizing for a loved one - a personal experience
Embarking upon any home move can be a major stress, but when you are moving a parent or parents, your stress levels can hit the roof as close emotional bonds are sure to be tested! I know this only too well as I moved my mother aged 92 from her bungalow to her new apartment. I knew this would be no mean feat, but read on to find out why it turned out to be a job well done!
We often resist “letting go” of things to avoid that sense of finality. Throughout our lives we form attachments to important people, places and possessions. Our homes are no different, and feelings we attach to our home can vary from person to person. In my mother’s case, she had been bereaved three and a half years before her move, which added another dimension to letting go as the process reawakened her most recent loss.
My mother is a social being and she craved the company of new friends, with whom she could have a natter, have a laugh and share secrets! It doesn’t matter how old you are: good company and a bit of fun make for a better world and can magic away your aches and pains! We know that there is much evidence that social isolation can lead to depression and/or physical illness.
Decision made - we were on the way to improving my mother’s wellbeing and quality of life.
As a professional organiser (and in this case, as a daughter too), I dealt with the property developers and associates, solicitors, estate agents and others. Decluttering a three-bedroom bungalow and slimming everything down to a one-bedroom apartment was a challenge for sure, but it proved entirely achievable. It takes time and patience to sort through items and decide what to let go of and what to keep. Sometimes people feel they need to hold onto everything to keep good memories alive and to avoid being gripped by loss. It is therefore very important that people talk about the feelings attached to belongings and their accompanying memories in order to facilitate the process. When helping anyone through such a move, it requires your absolute sensitivity and understanding.
My mother is quite sassy: she knows her own mind and likes things a certain way. Forget she’s 92 because you wouldn’t believe it if you saw her; she’s a brave lady and knows in her heart what is in her best interest. It’s been a challenge to restart somewhere new, but she has done it! With a guiding hand, support and reassurance she has got there. Now 93, she has made new friends and enjoys the activities that her independent living community affords her.
As a professional organiser, I love working with the older generation when they are downsizing. I can help everyone to be ready for the move as well as supporting them to settle during and after the move.
Please contact me if you would like more information about how I can help you or a parent in this way.