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Challenging Obstacles to Downsizing

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Perhaps the most challenging aspect of downsizing for most people is the sorting through and eliminating decades of accumulation of things.

Table of Contents

Life is an Accumulation of Memories…and Stuff

Even for those who are looking forward to a new style of life, just thinking about how to get through the moving process can be very intimidating. Eventually, however, the time may come when health and safety risks create the need for either full-time assistance or moving to a more appropriate living situation.

The following are some of the obstacles that can stand in the way of making a transition to a new living situation:

  • Becoming overwhelmed by the actions required to sell and move
  • Concerns about making a wrong and irreversible decision
  • Concerns about the loss of familiar surroundings and routines
  • Concerns about the loss of independence, control and privacy
  • An emotional attachment to the home
  • An attachment to the home by adult children
  • Wishing to hold on to the property so the family can inherit it
  • Physical or cognitive limitations presenting challenges to moving
  • Concerns that the property needs too much work to sell at a good price

It may be easier to make a transition in lifestyle when events are not in any critical stage and while there is more energy and ability to tackle the actions necessary to moving. However, even when such a decision is made, there may still be various physical and emotional challenges that delay or even prevent engaging in the process of making such a change.

Family and Friends Are Great Resources

There are various ways that family members and friends can help seniors when making a lifestyle transition becomes necessary. Family members can provide loving support and encouragement while allowing the senior to remain in control of the process as much as possible.

If family members are too far away or unable to provide much help due to their own family needs, there are many people available to hire who are experienced in organizing and getting ready for a move. They can provide a wide range of services that can take a great deal of the physical and emotional energy off the shoulders of the senior. We will take a look at various downsizing strategies in a later article.

Experienced Realtors Can Help

If a real estate professional is consulted, they should provide an empathetic and supportive level of service for the seniors, especially during the early stage of their involvement. Being mindful of the unique challenges and conditions that make the transition more difficult than with younger generations is crucial and respecting that even relatively minor issues may look insurmountable from the perspective of the senior homeowner. It can be enormously helpful for an agent to offer reassurance that the perceived difficulties and challenges of making the move do have solutions.

Experienced real estate agents will be able to provide information about resources, services, and time-tested experts who can be available to assist in the process of planning and executing the downsizing process and move. The agent can also help in anticipating what timing and sequencing will make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

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