Caring Transitions was pleased to join last week's #ElderCareChat, with President Chris Seman serving as an expert panelist. Seman engaged participants in an informative Twitter conversation about how to rightsize for senior living. The hour-long #ElderCareChat
highlighted Caring Transitions' work in helping seniors organize, pack, de-clutter, move, and resettle into a new space. The topic was inspired by a recent blog post
in which Caring Transitions’ described its work in rightsizing, a process that entails helping older adults move into smaller and often safer environments.
The Twitter session, which generated more than 1.6 million impressions, outlined the steps involved in the rightsizing process. Older adults are advised to begin with space planning before they move to a smaller space. The next step is to identify the basic items they will need to support their new lifestyle, such as a bed, dresser, chairs, table, etc. Clients are then encouraged to focus on items that are useful or most meaningful to them—i.e., their personal "touchstones."
While rightsizing is about transitioning to a new space, the #ElderCareChat emphasized the emotional aspects of the process. It’s not just about sorting through "stuff." As Seman tweeted, "stuff often has intangible connections to memories and emotions."
Seman added that family members should support parents through a transition, both emotionally and psychologically. It’s a time of sharing, but families should set aside the myth that the parent becomes the child. “Be respectful," Seman advised, "and allow parents to make decisions and have a sense of control."
It’s important that this sense of control be present from the outset of the process. "It's always a good idea to start by making sure the 'rightsizing' is being done voluntarily and not under duress," one participant remarked.
While it may take several months for a family to accomplish rightsizing on their own, the staff of Caring Transitions can accomplish the task in just a few days or weeks. "Family dynamics, sibling emotions, and responsibilities complicate late-life home transitions," Seman tweeted. "Professionals can make it easier."
Here are some highlights of the discussion that took place over the #ElderCareChat hour (scroll through to view all):
is presented by OurParents.com and sister sites SeniorAdvisor.com
as a forum to share resources, experiences, and expertise in eldercare.
#ElderCareChat meets mid-month; the next chat will be in mid-February. Stay tuned to @OurParents
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