So, we’re 2 weeks into lockdown. It’s now that many are realising that it may be time to start the conversation about downsizing your parents nearer to you.
My parents live 30 minutes away and I’m their closest child. They have lived in the same village for the last 55 years and have a huge support network. This is such a relief as I haven’t worked out when the Tesco delivery slots gets opened up, and keep missing them.
They’ve got themselves pretty well sorted. They have been allocated a local “friend”. She calls them every time she’s “popping” to the shops in case they need anything (normally Mint Aero and fruit and veg). They buy their milk, eggs and bread from the milkman. Their local butcher delivers to their front door. And they always have a well-stocked wine cellar.
I’ve only had to make a couple of emergency dashes to sort their TVs and computers out.
Zoom keeps them up to date with the family. We’ve just had a “family lunch” and there’s a quiz every Friday evening. And they’ve got each other, so are not too lonely, although missing their bridge and friends badly. My father is also missing his daily walk to buy Mint Aero and oranges and the lovely people who run the Post Office.
But what if they didn’t have this support network? I’d have to been over there a lot more. And what if they were on their own? My father is not tech savvy so it would have been phone calls only. And if one of them was on their own, how easy would be it for them to fall ill and none of us know?
At some point we may need to start a conversation about downsizing our parents and it’ll be a difficult one to broach. It’s one to be started early. Whilst they’re both still with us, and before they’re struggling to walk up the stairs or maintain the house.
Moving from the family home will be an enormous emotional wrench – but I would be by their side throughout the whole process. At least I know what they’re going to be going through and how much time it’s going to take!
It’s not enough just to be there on the day of the move. It takes ages to get a house ready for sale. Longer to work out where to move to (stay in their village or move near one of us) and viewing properties. Confusing dealing with all the paperwork for the sale. Overwhelming starting the declutter, working out what to take with them and what will fit. The house sale and actual removals is the easy bit.
So, if you’ve struggled to support your parents during this COVID-19 crisis, maybe you need to start this conversation sooner rather than later. And what was the struggle? Loneliness – getting them additional help – worry – there are some wonderful independent living retirement villages that solve all these.
Or do as my mother-in-law did and move into our converted Stables!
Would you like a chat about how the Homemover Specialist could save you time and stress over downsizing your parents? Contact us on 01483 255895 or by email. For more top tips and latest news from this new budding sector. Make sure you follow our Facebook Twitter and Instagram pages.