I am hearing from more people lately who are struggling with how to sort through their parents' many years of stuff so they can move them to Assisted Living or a Nursing Home. Even though I have personally never been a big collector of stuff, getting rid of my things was hard for me to do - and I was just moving from a home to a condo!
My dear friend Sarah is going through this right now with her elderly mom who shouldn't be alone anymore in her big house - she wants to be in the same facility where her husband is in the nursing/dementia care area. Sarah flew to Florida to make it happen, but said it got so intense trying to convince her mom to let go of stuff that when the mom wanted to take her wedding dress, Sarah had to go out to the car and just scream.
I suggested that Sarah take pictures of everything her mom wants to take but can't, and put together an album for her. She could even cut a little piece of fabric from something her mother needed to leave behind to make the scrapbook with. She sighed so heavily with complete exhaustion, "Yeahhh, that would be really nice, but I just don't have the time to do that!"
Well... to meet this growing need, a relatively unknown business has popped up with organizing/moving specialists who handle it for you from start to finish. How great to have someone else tell your mother she doesn't need to take her grandmother's sewing machine, because she doesn't sew anymore.
Over the last few years I have interviewed quite a few of these organizing professionals on my radio show. Scroll through these 11 archives and listen for lots of ideas!
Or, for more information on the safety of Assisted Living facilities, read Expert Caregiver Carol Bradley Bursack's blog As Care Options for Elders Multiply, Problems Need to be Addressed.
You can learn more about Jacqueline and find information about her book at ElderRage.com.