If your parents are retiring, then there’s a good chance that they’re also thinking of downsizing and moving into a smaller home—or thinking that they ought to do so. The Gerontology Center at the University of Kansas recently found that more than half of the 20,000 people surveyed across all age categories felt that they had too many belongings, and surveys have found that 64 is considered the “perfect age to downsize.”
That same University of Kansas study found that most people weren’t in denial about the need to simplify and downsize, they simply found it hard to consider parting with treasured items that reminded them of friends and family, and the good times they had with them. When it comes to downsizing, knowing what to let go of can be just as difficult as making the decision to let go in the first place.
Maybe the most important thing to remember when talking with your parents about downsizing or transitioning to a senior living community is to empathize with this concern. After all, it isn’t easy for any of us to let go of the things that mean a lot to us, and sorting through a lifetime’s worth of memories can be a very emotional experience. Chances are your parents are ready to simplify their life, and already know that a move into a smaller place is going to necessitate letting go of some stuff. So be there for them while they figure out what to part with, and what to take with them to their new home.
Most people have hobbies, or collections that they’ve built up over the years, and it’s often not possible to bring everything from a collection with you when you move to a smaller home. Help your mom or dad to pick out the most prized pieces from their collections, and take plenty of pictures of the rest. Be honest about the things that you think they should keep and help them keep in mind heirlooms that they might want to pass down to family members sooner rather than later.
Letting go of the things that matter to us is never easy, but one approach that can soften the blow is to think of the good that you can do for others. Donations to your local church or second-hand shop not only help you to downsize, they can also provide a benefit for people in need. And mom and dad can write the donations off on their taxes! If your parents have collectibles or other valuables that they’re willing to part with, helping to sell them on eBay or other markets may give mom and dad an added nest egg they can put aside for a rainy day or put toward that cruise they’ve always wanted to take.
Whether your parents are just looking to downsize to a smaller, more manageable place or would prefer to relocate to a senior living community where they can be around other adults who share their outlook and interests, the Lazy Acres retirement community in Belton may be the perfect destination. To learn more or see what Lazy Acres senior living community has to offer, give us a call during our regular business hours at (816) 331-4886 or fill out our online contact form anytime!