Decluttering can be one of the largest tasks to accomplish before moving into a residential care center. The idea of sorting through your aging parents’ things can be as overwhelming as the task itself. Before getting started, you should attempt to understand the meaning behind some of the items. This may help simplify the process of elimination.
Aging Adults and Their Clutter
Most adult children wonder why their parents hold on to certain things. What you consider trash could be seen as a precious memory in the eyes of your parents.
Here are a few suggestions to help preserve memories while also decreasing clutter:
Most seniors have accumulated tons of photos throughout the years. Transfer the pictures to DVDs or USBs, store them in cases, and toss those boxes. This makes transporting them during a move much easier.
Many aging adults receive loads of unsolicited junk mail. It is easy for bills and receipts to pile up or be disposed of improperly. Consider converting to paperless billing and account statements. Investing in a shredder is also a great idea to destroy personal information that will help shield your parents from becoming victims of identity theft.
Changes in health conditions can make it difficult for aging adults to perform daily household tasks. The onset of dementia, recent brain damage, or a stroke are examples of health conditions that may limit mobility around the house. Consider a residential care center or home health aide to assist with keeping the home organized and clutter free.
Change Can Be Scary
Change can be overwhelming for some aging adults. Include them in the process of cleaning the home and explain why you’re getting rid of some items.
Tips to Help Your Aging Parents Eliminate Clutter
Many seniors will eventually downsize or move to a residential care center. Before the move, you’ll be tasked with assisting in this move. This also means you’ll need to help them declutter.
Here are a few tips to help alleviate the stress associated with the move:
- Exercise patience during this process. Realize it’s a stressful time for your parent(s). They may not be receptive at first, but your patience will encourage them to accept the changes.
- Allocate small segments of time to work through the clutter. Don’t attempt to tackle it all at once. It is best to spread it out over a few months.
- Know what your parents like and dislike. Understand their lifestyle. It will help to identify which items should stay and which should go.
- Separate items into categories. Instead of working on everything at once, it will be easier to get more accomplished when separating the items into specific categories.
Broadview Residential Care Center understands the importance of keeping the environment safe and clutter-free for aging adults. Contact us to find out more about our services and facilities.