Downsizing: Chose a Non-Family Member to Help
Chesapeake Transitions’ Expertise and Compassion Makes the Process Easier
It is not uncommon for aging adults to feel depressed during the downsizing process. Downsizing also means becoming “less” in terms of space and objects which for some is as difficult as the aging process itself.
Possessions are reminders of our past and shore up our feeling of continuity. They help us maintain a sense of connection with our lives and those who have gone before us.
Having someone to tell the story of why an object is important, why it should be taken to a new home or gifted it to a family member is of great benefit to aging adults. This “life review” through possessions helps a senior feel they and their lives have mattered.
Often, the best person to help with the downsizing is NOT a family member. For example, seniors and their adult children often see the same things quite differently. The parent might say, “That’s the Christmas stocking I made for you when you were 4.” The adult child says “Mom, you don’t need that anymore.” To the parent, the cherished object is an identification with other times while the child sees “stuff” that needs to be discarded.
Downsizing with an adult child also flips the basic parent/child relationship leading to a process that can become contentious. For senior couples, downsizing can lead to assigning blame for “excess stuff.” The need for a “life review” by an aging senior while sorting through objects can trigger strong emotions in both the senior and family members leading to frustration and stress for everyone involved.
That’s why having an unrelated, outside party help with downsizing is so beneficial for seniors and their families. Chesapeake Transitions, a Senior Move Specialist, understands possessions have meaning and listens compassionately to “life reviews” during the downsizing process. At the same time, Chesapeake Transitions has the objectivity to ensure the transition is completed as stress-free as possible for everyone.