Talking to your elderly parents about downsizing is one of the most challenging things. For the talk to yield positive fruits, you have to be cautious and steer the conversation in a subtle manner. The move might seem practical for the senior, but the thought of moving can provoke strong emotions. As the responsible party, you have to make the senior understand why this is in their best interest and why it has to be done which is challenging but not impossible.
Start the discussion as early as possible
How do your parents or the seniors in your life imagine their future? Before the move is immediately necessary, begin talking to them about other options to make the transition easier. Make sure you discuss the topic multiple times and show them the pros and not the cons of moving. This way, arriving at a decision you are both comfortable with is easier. Bring up a neighbour or an old friend who has downsized and talk to the senior about the advantages of the move.
Let the senior stay in control
Before you can figure out what to tell your elderly parents, listen to them first. Downsizing is emotional as it makes the seniors feel like they are losing control over their lives. State one fact before anything else that the decision to downsize is ultimately theirs and you are here to provide support and make suggestions. Never impose but instead, ask gentle questions about the current living situation and let them know how downsizing can help them improve and live a happier life.
Air your concerns
Most seniors respond best if you are open and honest. Instead of imposing, making choices, or controlling them, share your worries about their living conditions. Most of our elderly parents don’t like it when their children worry so much about them. For this reason, they won’t be defensive or feel upset if you express your fears and the desire for them to be safe and happy.
Downsizing is a sensitive topic for the elderly and it needs a subtle approach. Make plans with your parents if you want a smooth transition and figure out their idea of downsizing. Get to understand what is sensitive about it and how to best approach that. Elderly parents feel attached to their homes and that bond can be hard to break. Do it bit by bit and in a considerate manner and let the elderly parent feel in control at all times. Let them feel their decision is respected and appreciated.
If at any time you need a little extra help and support, we are just a call away to help with all your downsizing needs!