So, you are moving your parents to retirement living. Whether a decision they have made on their own, or is it is difficult decision you have had to help them make, it is a time of reflection, loss and transition. The life as we knew it with Mom and Dad is changing.
So, you get the call; You know that Mom and Dad have been failing but you didn’t realize how much. Maybe they are geographically farther away, they simply do not tell you to avoid worrying you, or possibly you just didn’t realize how much they were failing. You find out that things are declining quickly. Maybe it’s a situation where, one parent’s mind is compromised and the other parent has severe diabetes. There are so many different possible situations. You are part of the “Sandwich Generation”. The children are still working full-time and have busy lives. The adult children need to focus on what’s going on in their own family, but Mom and Dad need them. Health care and personal care needs are in question. The retirement home search needs to begin, not to mention the long list of other needed care.
I often hear, “I thought that I would just take a week off and come home”. OR “My siblings and I will get done what needs to get done will get them moved and get the house up for sale.” In reality, there are so many things to do when you are moving your parents to a retirement home. First of all, you need to find out what’s actually going on with mom and dad. Then, you need to look after their healthcare, find a place for them to move to, get all the paperwork in order, all while listening and talking and hearing your parents about their wishes.
We all accumulate too much stuff, whether it just be day to day newspapers, magazines, mail or the on going collections of things like antiques, books, salt and pepper shakers and more. So what do we you do with all the stuff? There will be items that go with them and then there will be items you and/or your siblings will want. After that what happens to the rest? Donate the items or sell the items? Personally, we like to repurpose, reuse and recycle as much as we can.
We can sell items online or can do an online auction. We can donate to the people that we know will use it. For example, we know that animal shelters can use blankets, towels and laundry detergent. We know where to take men’s and ladies clothes so they will get to those who need them. Household furniture, tools and garage items, can go to Habitat for Humanity. We have people to assess and buy coins, stamps, and other collections. The list of belongings can seem endless and if you do not know what to do with all these things it can be frustrating and time consuming.
Then there is the photos, what do we do with them all? We suggest you go through them and get rid of all the ones that no-one knows the people ( yes this does happen), the landscape , the ones with the thumb marks and all the ones that just do not matter. One solution might be having them all scanned and put on a usb for each child and one for Mom and Dad. Then you can take Mom and Dad’s usb and get them an electronic photo frame to enjoy.
When you are moving your parents to a retirement residence you want to do this as easy as possible and in a positive way. You do not need to do it on your own, call us, get help and focus on the things that are important – Your parents, their stories and making their new life transition easy.