There is no doubt that downsizing for seniors in general is an overwhelming task. Downsizing for a senior who has dementia – this dynamic not only makes the experience more overwhelming, but the experience itself could easily be detrimental to the success of their transition and their mindset, negatively impacting their health and wellness. If you don’t know where to start or your friend, client, or loved one is downsizing and is in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, read on for 5 Tips for Downsizing with Dementia.
MOVING IS DIFFICULT FOR A SENIOR WITH DEMENTIA
Whether it be normal memory loss due to aging or an actual dementia diagnosis, downsizing and moving takes its emotional toll on a senior and their loved ones. The decision to move is not an easy one. Sometimes, the decision isn’t made by the one who is moving, but by a concerned family member or council. Whether by choice or what can feel to the senior, by force, the process of making long-term downsizing plans in a short amount of time can be excruciating – even paralyzing.
GOING THROUGH THE TIME-CONSUMING PACKING AND DOWNSIZING PROCESS
Fortunately, many seniors who downsize do so in stages. From a large home to a small house to an apartment before a senior living community is considered, there is time to let go bits and pieces over a series of moves. For some, however, this never happens until it is absolutely necessary for assisted living options to be considered.
This, by far, is the hardest move – elders who must leave a lifetime of household belongings and move into a small, assisted living apartment. Sacrifices are being made in every area of the home and emotions are running high as patience wears thin.
For a person who has dementia and their family members, emotions run even higher. Emotional outbursts are common as the person with dementia feels robbed of their independence and their dignity as they go through the decluttering process with their loved ones.
Going through the time-consuming packing and purging process with kind and gentle communication and encouragement is crucial to ensuring the downsizing and moving process goes smoothly.