When Downsizing Becomes an Emotional Challenge

When Downsizing Becomes an Emotional ChallengeIn the coming year, My Divine Concierge will help plenty of seniors looking to downsize. It is something we’ve been doing for years now. Most of the time things go as smoothly as can be expected in a downsizing situation, but other times clients find themselves in an emotionally challenging place that makes it difficult to get the work of downsizing done.

We have enough experience to understand how difficult it can be to leave the family home. We know that the emotional aspects of downsizing are often more difficult than the actual work of packing and moving. But we have also learned that there is help available for those are struggling emotionally.

Emotional Ties Are Strong Ties

So what exactly makes downsizing emotionally difficult for some people? Well, it’s not just one thing. We did some research to help us better understand the emotional challenges of downsizing. Below are some of the things we learned:

  • Dealing with Memories – In some downsizing situations, homeowners mistakenly believe that memories of the past are all they have left. We know memories can be powerful, and a person who believes memories are all that’s left may have a very difficult time letting go. One of our tasks is to help clients take their memories with them by holding on to key possessions to keep those memories alive.
  • The Realization of Age – Downsizing can be a wake-up call to seniors, a wake-up call that reminds them they are in the final stages of life. That realization can be incredibly challenging from an emotional standpoint. In other words, downsizing reminds them that the days of youth are long gone. The physical challenges of packing and moving don’t help, either. Seniors are reminded that they are not as young as they used to be.
  • Fear the Future – Most people see their homes as a place of safety and refuge. Downsizing can turn those perceptions upside down. Furthermore, downsizing can introduce a bit of fear of the future. It’s normal to fear what will happen when you leave the security of a home you’ve lived in for such a long time.
  • Parting with Family Possessions – You might be surprised how many seniors store decades worth of family possessions that no one else in the family wants.
    They may have toys that are 30 or 40 years old, for example. Coming to the realization that children and grandchildren don’t want possessions is an emotional challenge. Seniors can sometimes feel like they are being rejected when, in fact, the kids and grandkids are only refusing possessions that aren’t relevant to them.

How to Handle the Emotions of Downsizing

Experts offer several recommendations for dealing with the emotions of downsizing. First and foremost is reaching out to family members who can help provide emotional support during the sorting, packing and moving stages of downsizing. They also recommend using professionals like My Divine Concierge, professionals capable of doing the heavy lifting – both physically and mentally.

Another suggestion is to choose a selection of possessions to be saved so as to enable seniors to hold onto their memories. They cannot save everything in a downsizing scenario, but some special things should definitely be preserved.

Lastly, downsizing should be approached with a plan already in place. When things are planned, seniors know what to expect once the process actually begins. Planning mitigates many of the fears that go with downsizing. It helps seniors better manage their emotions as well.

My Divine Concierge offers expert downsizing services to seniors. We’ve helped countless families navigate the downsizing process with a minimum amount of disruption. We can help you to.

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