Helping Parents or Senior Loved Ones Downsize – Part 1

Downsizing with MTC

The prospect of downsizing and relocating your parent(s) or senior loved ones can be overwhelming, stressful and a downright difficult conversation for everyone involved. If seniors aren’t ready to take this next step in their lives or if they have made the decision to start the transition, here are a few tips to determine if they are ready, and what to do after the decision has been made to downsize and take this next big step.

  1. Tips for Talking to Parents about Downsizing & Relocating
  2. Helping Senior Loved Ones Downsize
  3. Has Clutter gotten out of control?
  4. 10 Quick Tips for Downsizing


  1. Tips for Talking to Parents about Downsizing and Relocating:

So, you might be wondering, how can I talk to my parents about downsizing without upsetting them?

Well, that may be a pipedream, because there will most likely be stressful moments, and tears of happiness and sadness, but hopefully they will be happy once they are settled into their new residence.Downsizing with MTC

The big questions to determine how to approach this topic is…


  • Did they decide they are ready to make this new change on their own?
  • Or, do they need to downsize and relocate for their personal health and safety reasons?


Either way, getting rid of longtime possessions that hold memories from the past isn’t easy for anyone to let go. As a caregiver or family member helping with this transition, you have to remember that these items are closely linked to their personal identities of their past and memories associated so determine which category they fit in and tread lightly.

Most individuals understand that downsizing is just an inevitable part of moving to a new home. Going through closets, dumping old food/spices, taking old clothes to Goodwill, and getting rid of all the things you no longer needs can be particularly stressful for seniors since they have a lifetime of acculumilated items. However, they need to keep in mind that a big burden will be lifted off their shoulders once this enormous task is completed. Their life will become easier in their new home with less items to manage.

  • To start the process, have a light conversation about their plans for the future and start to make goals and plans to begin the process.
  • Ask family or friends who can potentially spend time with them to help them organize and determine where they need to start first.
  • Get rid of the items that really hold no sentimental value first. I.e., Who needs old magazines from 1999? or old cough medicine that is taking up space?


2. Helping Senior Loved Ones Downsizing

As we have discussed, downsizing can feel more difficult for the elderly, who may find it emotionally and physically overwhelming to let go of the items they’ve collected over a lifetime. If a senior loved one is moving to an assisted living or a family home, where they may have less storage space, the extra clutter looming in closets and drawers, can be a Downsizing with MTCstubborn roadblock — or even a justification to resist moving.

Within this section, we will discuss how seniors can be helped with family, friends or if professionals are needed. If their clutter has turned to a hoarding concern, and threatens their personal health or safety, then check out item 3 for tips on how to handle “When clutter gets out of control”.

Friends and family are usually the number 1 choice to enlist in times of need. This can be an enormous help, where your loved one can share some of their memories and even give away some of their items to so they know they cherished possessions will be used by another family, which can make the process less painful. However, reminiscing over loved items can become time-consuming if your loved one is especially interested in “painting a scene” instead of the “cliff notes” version. This can be overwhelming for the caregiver or friend, because as you love this person, you have a large task at hand that needs to get done in a timely manner.

“Sometimes when an adult child steps in to help mom or dad move, they bring emotional baggage. A lot of people are afraid they will lose the memory if they lose the item,” said Mary Kay Buysse, executive director of the National Association of Senior Move Managers. This can then become a downward spiral of anxious feelings that can be overwhelming for the senior or loved one.

Downsizing with MTC

If there is a great deal of items and you may feel that professional help is warranted. There are senior help managers who are trained to efficiently organize and are experts at helping to downsize and transition to senior living. Another reason to consider Professional help is discussed in item 3. When Clutter Gets Out of Control.



Do you need help Downsizing your Parents or Senior Loved Ones?

Check out the Free Downsizing Checklist today!


Check out Part 2 of Helping Parents or Senior Loved Ones Downsize that discusses When Clutter Gets Out of Control and 10 Quick Tips for Downsizing.


Med Transport Center offers non-emergency long-distance medical transportation by ground (MED Coach) or in flight (MED Flight). Our expert professionals coordinate the trip for your loved one while all you will have to do is call to make arrangements. 

Call us today for a FREE Quote – 800-311-3412. Request a Quote

Our transportation service is designed for anyone who has increased medical needs or limited mobility, including the elderly, disabled, or even those who are just needing a little assistance during their travel. Med Transportation Center is dedicated to providing a safe, comfortable journey with each ground or in flight transport. Each transport is medically-equipped for non-emergency transports, offers 2 professional drivers, a licensed nurse and offers an emergency physician in case the need arises. Furthermore, our utmost priority is to make sure that your loved one will safely get to his or her destination.


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