Declutter Time: Spring Cleaning Prep for Your Elderly Loved One

box of free CDs and DVDsSeniors are susceptible to tripping; in fact, it is reported that millions of seniors trip each year. Clutter may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it happens to be a common factor in these types of accidents, which can be quite dangerous for seniors. This is just one hazard that clutter represents to a senior. It is important to declutter a senior’s home but to do so delicately.

Why is it Hard for Seniors to let Go?

Seniors usually hold on to things for sentimental reasons. These items may make them feel close to family members or they might represent significant moments in their lives. This is the reason why many seniors find it hard to let go.

Decluttering a loved one’s home should not start by dismissing these items but rather understanding just how important each piece is.

Explain the Importance of Decluttering

Being sensitive to a senior’s feelings should make it easier to talk about decluttering. It is important to let your loved one know why he or she needs to get rid of a few things. Express that the goal is not meant to devalue the items he or she treasures.

You care about your loved one’s well being and know that clutter can lead to the following:

Tips to Start the Process

  • May contribute to a fall
  • Could make it hard for your loved one to find things
  • Senior may become trapped if items fall on him or her

One of the first things you can do is help your loved one pick out the most precious possessions. Another good idea might be to ask your loved one if he or she would consider taking photographs of the items. This is a good way to keep the items without cluttering up the house. Photographs can be stored on a cloud drive and be accessed from any computer.

Some seniors might want to see the items they treasure be treasured by others in the family. See if anyone in your family wants to keep a family heirloom because this might help make it easier for a senior to let go of the items he or she is holding on to so dearly.

The key is to understand that this may not be an easy process. It will take time, but starting the conversation should help a senior prepare to let go of some items.