By Natalie Ahern
Time after time it happens; I get a call from an adult child who needs an emergency move for a parent who has fallen or otherwise developed a health concern that prohibits the parent from living safely at home. As the owner of a Senior Move Management and Downsizing Company, I quickly send in a team to pack up belongings and create a new home.
My crew of compassionate women pulls together furniture, linens, kitchen goods and accessories to make a lovely new residence for the client. Sometimes, we have the guidance of harried, but loving children, who help us with decision making, but many times we must try to discern the most important pieces of a senior’s life for someone we may have never met. Our goal is to recreate the home as best we can. These are heart wrenching projects for us, as we want to make the new house feel like home.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record (I do write a lot of articles about planning for the future!), I encourage you to make a plan. If you are an older adult, make a list of the things that mean the most to you. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but you want your children or caregiver to know what makes your house a home. Is it your Nana’s afghan, the coffee mugs with your college logo, the slightly worn, but super comfy rocking chair that makes you happy? Most adult children are amazed at the items their parents choose to take with them when given the chance to make the decisions themselves. The children will look at us and say “She wants THAT bedspread?” or “Why does he want that metal filing cabinet?” The explanations are often so simple and make perfect sense when the senior explains his or her reasoning.
A little bit of pre-planning on your part will make an emergency transition so much easier for you and the people who care for you.
About the Author: Natalie Ahern, founder and principal of All the Right Moves Boston, has extensive experience in project management, home decorating, and floor planning in homes on and around Boston’s South Shore. Whether a client is downsizing, relocating, or aging in place, Natalie manages it all. She is a member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers. You can reach her at 781- 724-1681 or visit alltherightmovesboston.com for more information.