This pandemic hasn’t been an easy one for any one, but especially for the elderly. It’s important to be there for the people you care about at this time, especially when they are dealing with something serious like dementia. When people get diagnosed with dementia one common thing that happens next is downsizing, especially if that person is then moved into a new home or assisted living. Here are some tips to help your family downsize while dealing with dementia and Covid.
Communication is key in any relationship, but when someone has dementia, communication is extra critical. Sit down with your loved one and talk to them about downsizing and how they feel about it. Really listen to them when they express their thoughts and feelings so they feel heard.
When planning the downsizing, make sure you and your loved one are on the same page with your plans. Take notes when you talk to them about their plans so you can reference them later.
An important first step in downsizing is decluttering. Throwing away anything that is broken or could be considered trash or valueless is critical for downsizing. This process can take a while, so plan ahead of time and make sure you have enough time in your schedule to help declutter. Rushing through and throwing things away in a hurry because you’re running out of time, can lead to you throwing things away that you or your family would have liked to keep.
Not only is decluttering good for downsizing, it’s also good for anyone with dementia. Decluttering makes it easy for someone with dementia to manage their home and find they items they’re looking for without getting distracted. Put important items where your loved one can easily get to them.
Any items you or your loved one would like to keep, but don’t have room for or don’t need to keep in the home, would be good to put away in storage for later use. Storage outside the home can get expensive. So, make sure you and your loved one really want to keep the items you intend to put in storage.
If there are enough items you want to get rid of that you can sell, you can consider liquidating the items and selling them for a profit. There are several ways you can do this. Holding an estate auction, estate sale, or an estate buyout. Which way is right for you will depend on your situation, how many items you’re getting rid of, and the quality of those items.
If you bring in extra help to move your loved one’s items, you need to take social distancing into account. When bringing someone in from the outside to help move items, you can’t know for sure where that person has been and who they’ve come into contact with. So, take proper measures to keep your loved one safe, since the elderly are at a higher risk for the disease.