How Seniors Can Downsize and Make It a Smooth Transition

How Seniors Can Downsize and Make It a Smooth Transition

Guest Blogger Claire Wentz (claire@caringfromafar.com)

How Seniors Can Downsize and Make It a Smooth Transition? For many seniors, daily life can be a struggle due to health or mobility issues. When a home is too big or too full of clutter to maintain, it can make things even more difficult, affecting even the most basic of activities. For this reason, many seniors are choosing to downsize their homes and their lives, trading in a large house with a lot of upkeep for a smaller space that favors their health and continued comfort.

How Seniors Can Downsize and Make It a Smooth Transition

Photo Via Pixabay

This can be a big job, so it’s important to understand what goes into downsizing and how to make it a smooth transition. It’s more than just moving; it’s also going through your belongings to declutter and organize, learning how to live smaller, and preparing for a major life change. Fortunately, there are several ways you can make the process go smoothly and reduce stress. It just takes some good planning and a little help from your loved ones.

Here are a few of the best ways you can begin a downsize.

Get organized

One of the most important aspects of moving into a smaller space is getting organized. This means going through each room in your home and removing items you no longer need or have the room for. Keep things neat by sorting them into piles: “Trash,” “Keep,” “Sell,” and “Donate.” Consider handing down items with sentimental value to loved ones or consolidating things like photo albums by scanning your photos on a computer and keeping them digitally. Finding new ways to make room is all about being creative and thinking outside the box.

Save your memories

After living in a house for many years, you’re bound to hold onto many memories and mementos that have sentimental value. Downsizing may mean giving up some of your belongings, but that doesn’t mean you have to get rid of everything. Hold onto the things that matter most, or gather your family members to see if they’d like to take anything off your hands.

Keep it safe

Preparing for a move—especially one that requires a lot of decluttering—can be messy, so it’s a good idea to make sure your home is safe throughout the process. Keep boxes and packing material out of walkways and designate an area for packed boxes to keep them out of the way.

It’s also a good idea to create packing lists for each box so you can easily find any item you might need. Save important items, such as medication and cleaning supplies, for last.

Get some help

Moving day comes with a lot of work, so choose your help carefully. Ask friends or family members to lend a hand, and do some research when it comes to picking out a mover. If you have pets, designate someone to watch over them so they don’t get hurt or lost during all the activity. Hand out different jobs to each person so you won’t be tripping over one another.

How Seniors Can Downsize and Make It a Smooth Transition
Make some lists

Moving takes organization. Make some lists of everything you need to take care of. This includes finding out when trash day is at the new house, meeting your neighbors, changing your address and utilities, and mapping out the new neighborhood so you can easily find what you need.

Moving can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With a good plan and some simple organization tips, you can make your downsize a success. Remember to practice self-care during this time to ease your stress. Get enough sleep. Stay hydrated, and eat well-balanced meals during the entire process.

How To Use Technology To Help Your Senior Loved One With Dementia From Far Away

How To Use Technology To Help Your Senior Loved One With Dementia From Far Away

How To Use Technology To Help Your Senior Loved One With Dementia From Far Away

Guest Blogger Claire Wentz (claire@caringfromafar.com)

How To Use Technology To Help Your Senior Loved One With Dementia From Far Away

Photo via Pixabay by MarvinRoaw

Making sure our senior loved ones are healthy and happy is always a concern, but it’s not always easy to do, especially if you live far away. A phone call can go a long way, but many people want to be more involved than that due to their loved one’s health conditions. For those with family members that have dementia, the stress is exacerbated. Did they remember to take their medication? Did they make it to the store okay? Are they getting enough to eat each day? It can turn into an endless stream of worries and concerns, leaving you feeling drained.

Fortunately, the age of technology has made it easier than ever to stay in touch with the people we love and to help them make the most of their days. No matter how far away you are, there are several ways you can help the senior in your life with daily activities and keep them safe despite their changing cognitive function. The key is to do some research on the different apps and services available to find the ones that are best for you and your loved one.

Here are a few of the best ways to get started.

Keep them safe

The elderly are, unfortunately, often targets for thieves and burglars. This is in part because they are the least likely demographic to fight back, but also because it’s believed that they will have valuables in their home. If your loved one lives alone or still lives at home, consider having a surveillance camera installed on the premises that sends a live feed directly to your smartphone or tablet. This way, not only can you keep an eye on things from far away, you can ensure you have the ability to play back any wrongdoing for police. Unfortunately, your loved one may be unknowingly decreasing their home security. As you know, dementia makes remembering difficult, and forgetting to lock the door could mean the difference between safety and a breakin. Consider installing smart locks on your loved one’s door. You can check that their door is locked each night, as well as when they are away, and quickly lock it with the push of a button if you find that they forgot.

Set up a service

Just because you’re absent much of the time doesn’t mean you can’t be there in spirit. If you’ve enjoyed cooking for your loved one in the past, set up a cooking service so that fresh meals will be delivered to their home (or have someone come in and prepare the food there). Or, you might hire someone to come and walk your loved one’s dog every afternoon. This is an especially useful service if they have limited mobility or are struggling with dementia. Hiring help gives you the peace of mind that they are being taken care of, while also enabling them to maintain some of their independence.

Help them set up a video chat service

While some seniors aren’t comfortable with using too much technology, many are finding that services like Skype can help them stay in touch with the people they love the most. Help your loved one set up a video chat service so they can reach you anytime. This will be especially helpful around the holidays if you can’t get away to visit, as well as a way to check in daily. If you senior isn’t tech savvy, this doesn’t mean you can’t still use it to your advantage. There are several products, such as GPS-tracking sole inserts and watches, that enable you to keep track of your loved one and avoid wandering. Perhaps an automatic pill dispenser would be helpful in the early stages of dementia, rather than a phone call that your loved one might view as a nuisance rather than helpful.

Set up a medical alert alarm

Medical alert alarms are a great way to ensure your loved one is safe and can get the help they need even if you can’t be there. Help them set up an alarm system such as this one, which can assist with everything from a medical emergency to a home intrusion to a fire. These alarms are made especially for seniors and people with disabilities, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, so they can be crucial tools to help someone with limited mobility get help in the event of a crisis.

Get connected

Help your loved one get connected to others in the senior community by finding online support groups and clubs. Staying social is crucial for elderly individuals and can help improve memory function, mood, and general wellbeing, especially those seniors showing early signs of dementia.

How To Use Technology To Help Your Senior Loved One With Dementia From Far Away

You may feel guilt for not being able to be there for your loved one as much as you would like to be; keep in mind that showing your love and support by helping them stay healthy and happy is just as good as being there yourself.

Aging In Place: How Seniors Can Tackle Home Modifications

Harley Clarke Mansion Could be Demolished Says Evanston

Harley Clarke Mansion Could be Demolished Says Evanston

There are a growing number of Evanston IL residents who want to give up on the Harley Clarke Mansion. The city council may let residents pay to tear down this local landmark. The goal is to restore the lakefront dunes to their natural state.

A growing group of Evanston Residents feel that the mansion is in need of too much repair to make it work the effort. It has been considered that to get the view of the natural dunes back is a better way to go. There is still a large group who oppose this idea.Harley Clarke Mansion Could be Demolished Says Evanston

The city of Evanston says: group of Evanston residents has offered to pay for the demolition of the Harley Clarke mansion, aldermen were told Tuesday. During public comment, two speakers informed the City Council they have secured enough cash to pay for the removal of the local landmark and the restoration of the lakefront site, saving the city money and putting an end to years of debate over the future of the structure.

Following their remarks, an alderman directed city staff to prepare a resolution ahead of the next council meeting to move forward with the plan. Nicole Kustok and Jeff Coney spoke in favor of a plan introduced last fall by the Evanston Lighthouse Dunes group. The 1927 French eclectic-style mansion would be torn down, while its Jens Jensen-designed gardens would be preserved.

Harley Clarke Mansion Could be Demolished Says Evanston

The Harley Clarke Mansion is the former home of the Evanston Art Center. They moved out a couple of years ago and the mansion has since been vacant. Since that time no agreeable replacement has been accepted by residents. At one time a bed and breakfast was proposed and rejected.

What are your feelings about tearing down the mansion? Many people are torn, and no decision has been agreed to yet. Attend the Evanston City council meetings and speak your mind and help Evanston.

The Evanston IL Harley Clarke Mansion

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