Not being able to move around the house, too much maintenance, being too far away from loved ones - as the child of an aging parent, there are a number of reasons that you may feel their current home is no longer working, and while you’re happy to help them in any way you can, you realize that there is a better solution.
Broaching the subject of downsizing, however, may be difficult.
While it is important to remember that the decision to move is your parents to make, many times their reservation is the result of something more than stubbornness.
So how do you help your parents realize that leaving their forever home is an important step, and that it will help to improve their quality of life?
Here are four tips:
The most important step you can take when discussing downsizing with loved ones is communicating with them and letting them know the reasons you think it is a good idea.
Often, the reason for wanting someone to downsize can get buried in the back-and-forth, which then results in assumptions being made about the reasons why children may think downsizing is the right decision.
Be sure to explain why you feel downsizing is a good idea.
Maybe you want them closer, or you are concerned about their safety being in a large home by themselves. Perhaps you think they would enjoy their time more if they were closer to the things they love to do – sailing, golfing, visiting their grandchildren.
Whatever your reasons, sharing them with your parents, along with the benefits of downsizing, may help them to better understand your position and why it would be good for them.
2. Ask Questions
If your parents are still set against downsizing, ask them if there is something specific that is bothering them.
While it may come across as stubbornness, it’s more than likely that your parents are just worried about a certain aspect of downsizing. Some of the more common reasons behind not wanting to downsize include:
- They don’t want to bother you but would like your help.
- They don’t know what the process is and it is intimidating.
- They don’t know what to do with all of the extra belongings that they won’t be able to take with them.
- Sorting through their possessions feels like it will be too emotional.
- They don’t know how it will affect them financially.
- They feel they will lose their independence.
- They don’t want to have to get rid of their extra possessions.
Better understanding what is affecting your parents’ decision will help you to provide them with the most valuable information.
3. Give it Time
Downsizing should never be a rushed decision. While you may see that downsizing is the best option for your loved ones, it may take them longer to realize this. The best thing you can do is offer your help and understanding, but be patient.
When your parents are ready, they will let you know.
4. Ask an Expert
Reaching out to a professional, who focuses on downsizing for seniors, may add clarity to the conversation for both you and your parents.
At Gordon’s we offer consultation services with no obligation. We will go over your specific situation and help identify the options that are available to you, some you may not have even thought of yourself. If at the end of the meeting you feel like you want to move forward with downsizing, we will be available to help you as much or as little as you would like.
To learn more about our services, request an appointment today.