Category: Moving Dad to assisted living

Senior couple looking at their home

Downsizing the Family Home

I am 76 and my husband is 81. We’ve lived in our 4000 sq. ft., 6-bedroom home for almost 31 years. It was once also home to our 5 children, who were all thrilled to each have their own bedroom after growing up in a much smaller tract home in Massachusetts. However, since they were between 10 and 23 years old when we moved to Utah, they do not consider this home to be the “home I grew up in.” Whenever they return to Massachusetts for a visit, they drive by that home, and 2-3 of them have asked to go in and have a look around. We’ve already gotten through the downsizing that upset our kids. Although we feel nostalgic about our 20 years in Massachusetts and 16 years in that home, it’s this home that my husband and I will miss the most, if we ever have to downsize or move to assisted living. I’m probably already being unrealistic just by saying “if we ever have to.” We already pay to have our yard work done, and we’ve had help with basic housecleaning for years. I consider myself to be in excellent health, but my husband was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s disease about 6 years ago. He’s still considered “early stage,” but it’s only a matter of time before we will need more help and/or a lot less to take care of. Do It Now! Nine months before my mother’s unexpected death, my parents moved from “the home I grew up in” to a large condo that held most of the possessions they really cared about. They did most of that downsizing themselves. Dad’s second downsizing took place when, after outliving a second wife, he moved into his third wife’s condo. She had a lot to say

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An elderly man is sitting in his living room reading a newspaper. He is smiling at the camera. Horizontally framed shot.

Tips to Make Your Home or Assisted Living Feel Like a New Home to Mom and Dad

Even if a loved one agrees that they can no longer live alone, finding a new home for seniors can be challenging when it comes to welcoming them into that home. The transition to your home or assisted living will probably seem more like a loss than a new adventure—at least at first. It will ease the process if you empathize with their feelings and give them time to mourn their loss, while at the same time doing what you can to make them feel more at home in their new surroundings. Anyone who has to downsize from their home feels like they are leaving behind a lot of their past. If your loved one is able to make informed decisions, allow them to be part of the sorting process and help to choose what to take with them, as space allows to. For things they love but just can’t bring with them, take photos and put them in an album to be looked at frequently and enjoyed vicariously. Offer to store things like some seasonal decorations, clothing, and other things they will use only occasionally. Moving to Your Home Daytime space of their own is important when moving a loved one into your home. Try to provide at least a corner of a room with their favorite chair, a side table and lamp from their home, a TV, and a small book shelf for reading material, photos or other things they will use or look at frequently. If possible, move things around so they have natural light in their corner. Remember, Dad or Mom may have visited your home many times, but until now they’ve never had to consider it their home. In their bedroom, use the bedding they’re used to, unless they want something new. If there is

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