Convincing an Aging Senior to Let Go of So Many Belongings to Move Into Assisted Living Can Often Be a Difficult Process

It’s a modern phenomenon that we experience in Western civilization. We gather up so many items, save things we have no reason to save, and before we know it, garages are packed full of items, attics are stuffed full, and we have storage units where we spend hundreds of dollars every month just to keep our ‘stuff.’ The more years we have under our belt, the more items we seem to gather. When an elderly person is planning to move into assisted living, they may have dozens or even hundreds of boxes of memories, pictures, and other items that make it difficult to let them all go.

Assisted Living in Pascagoula AL: Letting Go of Belongings

Assisted Living in Pascagoula AL: Letting Go of Belongings

They can’t bring it with them.

Yes, they can certainly move everything from their house or apartment into a storage facility unit, but is that practical? How often are they going to be looking at these things? Or using them? That’s a question many of us should be asking, especially when we find our attics, basements, garages, and personal storage units completely stuffed full.

How can we start this process?

Slowly. Trying to rush somebody is going to be met with incredible resistance. It may even have the unanticipated consequence of them deciding not to move into assisted living. After all, somebody who has become so attached to these memories, these ‘things,’ may prefer to struggle and be unsafe rather than give them up.

Help them go through things one item at a time. Listen to their memories. Let them talk about why they have it, where they got it, and what it means to them. Many memories are connected to a lot of the items people hold onto. Even though most other people (even family) would consider it junk, it is valuable to the individual, that senior.

As they work through things, once they recall the memories they had, they may be more willing to get rid of them, possibly not throwing them out but offering them to friends and family members, including children, grandchildren, and possibly even great-grandchildren. Encourage these family and friends to accept these gifts, even if they don’t really want them right now.

It will mean a lot to that senior who is about to make a significant change in their life. By accepting these little gifts, these tokens, they can feel more assured that their life meant something, which it did and does.

Little steps are the best way to help somebody let go of a lifetime of items they’ve collected.

If you or an aging loved one are considering assisted living in Pascagoula, AL, contact Ashbury Manor Specialty Care and Assisted Living at 251-317-3017.

About Cindy Johnson

Ashbury Manor’s Administrator since 2008, Cindy Johnson is a long-time expert in the assisted living field. Prior to her arrival at Ashbury Manor, Cindy managed acquisitions and crisis management for existing and new larger senior care project developments for eleven years. As regional manager for an Oregon-based assisted living management company, Cindy was directly responsible for operations for five 50-65 bed assisted living facilities. As manager during the transition to new ownership, Cindy reorganized internal operations and conducted leadership training for Executive Directors. As a result of her management and expertise, one of the company’s facilities (in Ocala, Florida) received a deficiency-free survey, resulting in the lifting of a moratorium on operation.

A nurse for 36 years, senior care has always been Cindy’s passion. Desiring to work more closely with residents, Cindy became a Category II Administrator in 2005. As Ashbury Manor’s Administrator, Cindy understands the complexities associated with dementia and cognitive impairment and she has fallen in love with seniors with dementia or cognitive impairment and their families.

Cindy is Treasurer of the local “Senior Coalition” chapter. She enjoys mentoring new candidates who want to become administrators.

As a 16-bed facility, with Cindy's training and experience, our residents and their families can be sure Ashbury Manor’s carefully selected staff provides the expertise of a larger facility while maintaining the individualized personal care of a small special needs home.
Google Verified Author