Moving into aged care is always the right choice but there’s no denying it can be an emotional experience for everyone involved.
Even if you or your loved one are 100 per cent ready for the change and looking forward to being part of a new community, the question will arise about what to do with the family home or retirement villa.
You shouldn’t have to feel rushed, but if you are planning to sell the family home or lease it to other people, you will need to move personal belongings out relatively quickly. The following tips will help make the transition easier.
How to transition from home into residential aged care
The first thing to do is decide which belongings will go with you or your loved one.
Things such as clothing and photographs are a good place to start. There will also be room for some favourite trinkets or ornaments, as well as bedside clocks and lamps.
Some aged care facilities encourage people to bring a chair, display cabinet or other smaller piece of furniture from home. This creates an instant feeling of familiarity and comfort, although you will need to speak to the provider about what there is actually space for.
Be careful taking items like valuables and jewellery. They may be better off at the home of a loved one so they don’t become lost.
Involve the family
Now it’s time to go through everything else. Often, the best way is for a few family members to set aside time and tackle the job together.
Work in stages; as you go through drawers and cupboards there will be things that are obviously rubbish that can be thrown away. Then there is the ‘someone might want it’ pile. Before items are sent to charity or sold, let extended family members and friends know that they should come and choose some things which will be useful or which have sentimental value. If you have a large family and everyone takes a box of belongings with them, the rest of the job will be made easier.
Once people have chosen what they want, it’s time to box things up and make plans to sell or donate other items.
- Quality clothing and shoes in very good condition can be given to local op shops
- If you have time, list working electronics like televisions and kitchen appliances on Gumtree or Facebook marketplace
- Crockery and cutlery might be appreciated at your local soup kitchen
- You may be able to drop some books at a local street library (be selective and don’t leave too many)
- If there are items of genuine value, an antique dealer may be interested in visiting but keep in mind that it can be difficult to sell older things for high prices
Another idea, if the family has the capacity to do so, is to hold a garage sale. It can be nice to see things going to someone who wants them and to have a little bit of cash at the end of the day.
Look to the future
It’s not always easy to say goodbye to a lifetime of belongings and there is no family that does not find this experience difficult. One tip is to allocate more time than you think you will need. Breaks are necessary as part of this process and you will also find yourself stopping to reminisce as you come across items that trigger memories.
A final idea is to hire a professional to help. This person will act as a project manager and make it so much easier to decide what to do with things. If you’re trying to downsize on your own or with just one other person, this can make such a difference.
Finally if you’re finding it stressful, focus on the lovely new facility and what it has to offer in terms of comfort, security and round-the-clock care. Relocating to aged care is a new chapter but an important one when it comes to quality of life.
Want to know more about quality residential aged care in a recently refurbished facility on Sydney’s north shore? Contact KOPWA today on 02 9412 0284.