Even the most meticulous plans for downsizing can go wrong, causing stress for both senior parents and their adult children. To help your parents downsize, it is important to have a plan, lots of time and increased emotional awareness.
We offer expert advice from three senior move managers who specialize in downsizing. This will help you plan for every stage of your parent’s downsizing, including how to:
- Start the downsizing conversation
- A senior-friendly real estate agent is available to help you.
- Find the ideal home for your parents
- Your parents’ home can be decluttered
- Help your parents with their move
- Celebrate the downsizing of your parents together
- Do it early and with compassion
- Hire a moving and packing company
Downsizing Tips You Need To Know
Many adult children fear that their parents will be offended or upset by the idea of downsizing. It doesn’t matter if you are hesitant to get in touch with your parents. The downsizing process will be much easier if everyone starts the process sooner than others.
Before a life event forces them to move, adult children need to discuss downsizing with their parents. Parents can have more time to discuss their feelings about moving and find a smaller home they love. They also have more control over the process. These are some tips for parents to consider when downsizing.
Expect more than one conversation to persuade your parents to downsize.
It is not common for someone to just decide that a home is too large.
Ask your parents questions about downsizing in everyday conversations to break the ice. This will allow them to talk about their feelings on downsizing without being confrontational. These questions will help you gauge the state of your parents.
- Can you imagine living in a smaller, more manageable home?
- Are you thinking of moving to a one-story home?
- Are you looking for help in going through your garage and donating items you no longer need?
- What would you like to spend the extra money on if you could lower your housing cost?
Consider downsizing as an opportunity to embark on a new adventure
Talk to your parents about downsizing. Don’t focus on what they would lose by moving.
Offer to renovate your parents’ home. You can help your parents improve their safety by supporting them while they downsize. These are some easy ways to make your parents’ home more accessible.
- Install handrails in the bathtub and shower.
- Take out any rugs your parents may trip over or have difficulty crossing when you use a walker.
- You can organize your cabinets by putting the most important items of your parents on the lower shelves.
- If necessary, add a wheelchair lift.
Keep in mind that your parents will decide whether they want to downsize.
Although you may think you know best what your parents want, it is ultimately up to them whether they decide to downsize. They can continue to live in their home even if they need to be supported by a caregiver.
Hire a senior real estate agent
Partner with a senior-friendly real estate agent when your parents are ready for downsizing.
Reach out to your network and ask for recommendations to find the top-rated agents in your region. Ask candidates about their past experiences and how they approach working with seniors.
Your parents can help you find a house while keeping your future needs in mind
Your parents will be able to select from many options, even if they limit their search to smaller properties. These are some of the factors that will help your parents choose the right home for them:
- Affordability: Your parents should be able to determine what they can afford before buying a new home. This includes their retirement savings, their monthly budget, and their estimated earnings from the sale of their current home.
- Accessibility: You should limit your search to single-story or multi-story homes with an elevator. Look for homes that have an accessible ramp or entrance that is flat. You can make it easy for your parents to move around the home, even if they have to change their health.
- Maintenance: Would your mom like a small garden that she can use? Your dad might prefer a heated driveway that doesn’t require him to shovel. Talk to your parents about how much maintenance they can manage for a month. Keep in mind that they might underestimate and you may need to take over the work later.
Next, think about which type of housing you and your parents would be open to renting or buying. Here are the pros and cons of the most popular options.
- Single Family Home: A single-family, single-story home for your parents. They will have the privacy and independence that comes with owning a large lot. They have full control over the renovations and repairs and can make modifications to the home as they wish. A single-family home, however, will need more upkeep and maintenance than other property types.
- Condominiums: Condominiums are less maintenance than single-family homes. HOAs manage amenities like the pool, gym, common areas, and entertaining spaces. Your parents won’t have complete control over the property, and they will need to follow the community rules, including pet policies. Their privacy may be compromised by them sharing a wall with their neighbours.
- Apartment: Your parents can rent an apartment. Their landlord will manage most of the property maintenance. Your parents may not be able to alter their living spaces and could face rent increases depending on local laws.
Our team at Brunswick Organizing Solutions is ready to assist you with your upcoming move, downsizing, decluttering, or home organizing projects. Call us now for more details.
Brunswick Organizing Solutions
Shallotte, NC 28470
Brunswick Organizing Solutions
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Leland, Wilmington, Shallotte, North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, Southport, Bolivia, St. James, Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset Beach, Carolina Shores, Calabash, Castle Hayne, Burgaw – Brunswick and Horry County