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How can I talk to my mother about down sizing?

My mother can't take care of her house anymore. How can I get her to down size?

Answers

Take her out looking at houses close to you .

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User in Salem, MA
Feb. 15, 2019

Take her to a new one bedroom condo that has a gated community. A brand new home that has a clubhouse, neighbors her age, and a social calendar of events may entice her to realize that not having to worry about a leaky roof, shoveling snow, tons of stairs, or being alone isn't a smart life for herself.

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Honesty is the best policy. Tell mommy just much you love her and that you want her to enjoy every single moment of her life. Start this day off with a great or favorite breakfast lunch or dinner date.

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User in Tampa, FL
Jan. 21, 2019

Elderly have their set ways to declutter may need some psychological assistance

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Downsize one room at a time as to not overwhelm her

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Laura in Garner, NC
Oct. 15, 2018

It's hard for anyone to see former things pass away. Unless you personally are investing time or money to help your mom take care of her house, let her decide when it is time to change her lifestyle.

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That is something you have to discuss with her as a family and make her understand.

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If your mother is alert and oriented and competent to make her own decisions then she should decide these matters herself. Have boundaries.

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Leaving ones home that they have had for years is very difficult. Explain that new chapters happen in our lives on a regular basis and a new one is to begin. A smaller place is less care and she will have more time to spend with you and your family.

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Alan in Nutley, NJ
Aug. 8, 2018

Open conversation from the heart...Remember her home holds a lot of memories to her.

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Laure in Edmonds, WA
July 30, 2018

That's a hard question. If I were you I'd wait until she's ready. When they know they are declining they somehow think letting go of their house and stuff means this is near the "end".....

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Karina in Redmond, WA
July 30, 2018

give her options, and why its best to clear some of the things that are not needed. or offer to donate to people who are in need since shes not using it anymore... have great suggestions.

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Susan in Jackson, MO
July 23, 2018

That is very difficult because that is her home. Get some pointers from a psychologist if you can. I am sure there are websites out there on "HOW TO APPROACH A PARENT ON GETTING A SMALLER HOME". Probably the AOA( Area on Aging)or DHSS ( Dept. on Health and Senior Services)would be good also. They will have pamphlets or maybe even websites. (?)

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I would bring someone in that she wouldn't be so harsh too. You being the daughter she will argue with you the most. The newcomer needs to be very polite and gentle with her but firm when it comes to tossing thing or donating to thrift or giving away to family members

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User in Selden, NY
Oct. 20, 2017

Also a tough one.Try taking her to open houses in condos or smaller homes, as a way to let her see how much easier to run and clean, a smaller home will be.

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User in San Pablo, CA
June 13, 2017

Hmm. This is a tough one since most of things for seniors things have more of an emotional attachment to them. What I have been doing with my godfather who is 71 is ask him to tell me stories about where these objects came from and from whom. There seems to be quite a few items from each person. I will then ask him which one is his favorite. More often than not there is not enough space to display it with honor (which I tell him is the way you truly displace this kind of piece). This in turn offers another opportunity together rid of more options. When we finished one space in the house he was so exited he really wanted to more. I also communicated that with less things around he could have more energy to do the things he always wanted to do as he is still fit enough to do them. We have taken our first load to the dump and some second hand stores. I hope this helps.

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Offer to help her make it easier to help her downsize. Point out she can make money on some of her possessions like garage sales,consignment, craigslist and then offer to reward her with something she likes to do with some of the money she makes. Remind her that you love her.

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Susan in Bronx, NY
May 15, 2017

Explain the situation to her, softly and caring mood, let her know at her age the task would be difficult for her too maintain, that she would be more comfortable in a smaller place, whereas she would be able to move around and do as she wants, in a smaller place

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Oh this is a BIG one - all the way around, it is one of the hardest! If it is just you, try to get someone you both know, love & trust to get her to talk about, you might find she agrees then turns around the next day & says she is not going anywhere! But part of her knows the truth, usually a trip to an ALF /or apartments after or during your next talk; especially if she had an incident of some kind. If she is on medications, needs help with meals there are agencies and people who can help so she can still be independent, that is Sooo important; you may see slight changes in her mood after the move for awhile. If you have siblings, getting them on the same page will not only help you But help your Mom in the long run! God Bless you & your family.

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For those who have spent a lifetime making memories, earning a living, planning events, and making purchases it is never easy to suddenly arrive at the destination of downsizing. For seniors these possessions have a memory or life event connected to each and every one of them. For instance mom's old sweater that has seen better days is special to her because it's what she wore while holding her daughter for the first time. The broken record player also has value to dad because he remembers playing his favorite music, dancing with the one he fell in love with for the first time. The dusty tea set also is invaluable because many a conversations with best friends were shared over it. Everything has a place in mom's heart so my advice is to be patient and understanding, share laughs over each story connected to each object, and positively encourage your mom to see the positives of passing on some of those possessions for others to make memories with. Bottom line respect the past, live in the present, and encourage the future. After listening to mom and respecting her feelings encourage positive steps to take such as having a yard sale, having certain possessions appraised , etc. Do it all with love and caring and your mom will start to see the benefits of downsizing.

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You could just come right out and say it:or Mother I KNOW YOU MUST HAVE BEEN WONTING TO ORGANIZE SOME OF YOUR THINGS.MOM I REALLY WOULDN'T MIND HELPING YOU TODAY.I KNOW IT LOOKS A BIT OVERWHELMED BUT WE DON'T HAVE TO DO IT ALL TODAY.AND IT WOULD GIVE US QUALITY TIME TOGETHER.WHAT YOU DON'T WONT TO DO IS SOUND DISRESPECTFUL,DON'T TALK DOWN TO HER AND DON'T CALL HER THINGS "JUNK'because it means something to her.ask if it OK to maybe put some things in boxes,and take them to storage.Never make her feel like she has no say. thats still your mother. AND IF SHE SO HAPPEN TO SAY NO" THEN RESPECT HER DECISION. TAKE HER FOR ICE CREAM SHE JUST MIGHT CHANGE HER MIND.

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showing her senior citizen housing or maybe taking in a aide

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User in Bronx, NY
May 4, 2017

Give her reasons to understand that she can save more $ on a smaller but not small apartment. And anything she hasn't used in more than 2 years, she should sell or donate. Less clutter..

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Explain to your mother that downsizing the house is one way to give her comfort to her by putting only important things that she needs to be reachable, small things that she loves to see to be visible at a glance, and less stress in moving in and out of the bathroom and bedroom, and easy to keep it clean and organized.

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This one is difficult... Whenever someone attempts to explain that they would benefit from going to a more fitting sized home/apartment... it makes the parent feel as if they are losing control of their lives.. Such as losing control of the reins of their world. as so I've been told by my own father in law one time... Have you discussed this situation with your Mother or just have noticed this & don't know how to approach her to discuss it with her? I start with the conversation, then giving her ideas of what could & would be better for her Bringing in help *housekeeping, caregiver, etc... Retirement communities that she go on tours of... She Might Surprise you by agreeing to some of the ideas It also helps to inform her that the children she is Saving her home, items, etc... for are Ok with her decision to down size for none of you need or will miss any of it.

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This is an issues that will take some time, pay attention to your mother's ideas and any fears she may be expressing indirectly. Even if you've already made up your mind that your mothers should down size, being respectful when you tell your mother what you think she should do, do so respectfully and try to avoid a bossy or dismissive tone. If your mother is angry, drop the subject and return to it another day You can help your mother by asking questions and affirming the values she expresses. You can help her record memories by creating a photo album with some of the item in her home Your interest and involvement will not only make the process more meaningful, it will make this life transition less lonely and frightening.

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MAYBE TALKING ABOUT GETTING AN APARTMENT,ONE BEDRM,SMALL KITCHEN,WITH A PATIO IN BACK OF APARTMENT.AND STILL ENJOY CLOSE BY NEIHGBORS.AND SHE WILL STILL HAVE ALL CONTROL OF HER LIFE.

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Suggest that it may be too much space for one person and may be a good idea and more comfortable to downsize and find something more suitable for one person.

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EVER THINK BOUT A LIVE IN CAREGIVER... THATS ME

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Ellis in Tacoma, WA
April 30, 2017

Make a list with her about the pros and cons of going to a new place that requires less work. 

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