Caring for your family can bring
joy to your life. If you are caring for your parents and children, this can
become complex. As your parents age, their needs and abilities change. If you’ve
started to consider the next best move for Mom, Dad or another senior loved one,
we have guidance on trigger moments that signify it may be time to talk about a
Here’s a list of significant
changes that could indicate your parents may currently or soon need additional
support such as home care, decluttering help, financial advising, or assisted
- Difficulty keeping up with
finances. Observe stacks of unpaid bills or late notices.
- Changes in personal hygiene
or housekeeping that indicate parents are having trouble with personal grooming
- Your parent repeats
themselves often in the same conversation, seems confused, highly emotional or
exhibits unusual paranoia. This could be caused by medications or other more
serious cognitive issues.
- Excessive shopping through TV
or online outlets, or an unusual interest in online sweepstakes that require
their personal information, phone numbers, addresses, social security or
- Your parent is extremely
isolated due to loss of a spouse or loss of personal mobility.
- Numerous safety concerns in
the home, such as heat, air conditioning, leaks, crumbling plaster, trip and
fall hazards, steep stairways, loose carpeting and outdated electrical.
- Health concerns: disorganized
medications, spoiled food in the home, lack of healthy food items, infestations
- Recent diagnosis of a chronic
health condition that requires a variety of care services provided by multiple
If you noticed any of the
trigger moment changes above, it may be time for your loved one to consider
rightsizing or a move that benefits their health condition. Here are 5 tips to
help you prepare them to “Rightsize” for whatever comes next.
Help your loved one get
rid of items that belong to other people. Quite often, the first place you can begin to clear is where other
people’s items gather. Have they held on to your childhood furniture and
keepsakes or stored items for family and friends? If your answer is yes, start
clearing those items. Contact family members and friends to find out if they
want their items back or no longer have use for them.
Dispose of broken and
outdated items. In most cases, broken
items are no longer useful or functional, but a hazard. Items like chipped or
broken decorative items can be especially harmful depending on the material the
item is made of, the paint used to decorate it, or if the item has sharp or
jagged edges. Be sure to discard these items to clear room as well as for
safety. Also consider discarding well worn, old, holey, or torn clothing, bed
linens, and towels as well as chipped or broken dinnerware.
Start the process by
identifying items your loved one absolutely loves and needs. After deciding what items are needed to live safely
and comfortably, such as a bed, place for clothes or eating utensils, you can
then consider which items they love most that are not essential to daily life
Be patient and prioritize the
well-being of everyone involved. In a
world driven by immediacy, we often want instant results. Remember that
Rightsizing is a process that works best with a plan and lots of patience. This
is a conscious decision to set the next phase of your life for comfort and
healthy living. If the process exceeds what your family can do comfortable,
consider hiring experts like Caring Transitions.
For every milestone in our lives, we use space
differently. Quite often, embarking on new territory can be both exciting, and
in some cases frightening. Having open and honest conversations with your loved
ones about the next steps in their life can ease some of the anxiety and
uncertainty surrounding this topic.