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5 Key Signs It’s Time to Help Seniors Downsize


Tough Conversations: 5 Key Signs That It’s Time to Help Seniors Downsize

Whether it involves buying a smaller house or condo, moving in with a loved one, or joining a senior living community, downsizing can be a huge help to seniors. How will you know when it’s time to encourage your aging parents to downsize their home? Here are five signs to watch for, with some helpful senior downsizing tips to make the transition smoother for everyone involved in the decision.


Is There a Safety Issue?

Above all else, we want to make sure aging family members are safe in their home. Consider their mobility and whether the current home is easy for them to navigate. Does the house have stairs that could present a problem? Are the bathrooms and living areas equipped to accommodate changes in mobility? Is the exterior and interior wheelchair accessible? If moving around in the space is getting harder for them, downsizing to a smaller and fully accessible home could be a helpful solution.


Is Upkeep a Concern?

Houses require a lot of upkeep that can be physically straining for people of any age. If home maintenance is causing physical, emotional, or financial stress, it may be time to consider helping seniors downsize into a more manageable space. Can your family members keep up with yard maintenance and house cleaning? Is their cost of living sustainable if they’re paying for cleaning and landscape maintenance services? Downsizing presents an opportunity to save time and money, and it can be a major stress reliever for someone feeling overwhelmed by home upkeep and expenses.


Is the Home Too Big?

Years ago, your aging family member likely used every square inch of their home – but now, the same home may have features and spaces they simply don’t need. Are there multiple unused rooms in the house? Have the bedrooms become extra storage? Moving to a smaller space could end up being a lot more efficient. On the other hand, if every room in the house gets plenty of use, downsizing may still be well down the road.


Could Downsizing Help Them Live Where They Want to Live?

Have your aging loved ones placed firm roots in the community where they want to live? If not, encourage them to be flexible about space to have a home in their ideal location. Seniors who are willing and able to downsize their homes have more options when deciding where exactly they want to go. Buying or renting a smaller space could mean getting closer to loved ones or their favorite activities — and that can be a powerful incentive!


Will Moving Be More Difficult in the Future?

Are there signs that a big move may not be possible if you put it off for too much longer? If your loved ones are living with a chronic health condition or have declining mobility, it makes sense to think of their future selves now. Helping seniors downsize while they’re well enough to move could help them avoid an unsuitable living situation later.


There is always a lot to think about regarding major life decisions. The thought of moving can be emotional for family members, especially if they have a lot of history and memories in their current home. Always approach conversations about helping seniors downsize delicately, and give your family time to think about the decision. We have a list of senior downsizing tips to help you prepare loved ones for their move into a smaller space.


The Pillars of Grand Rapids is a senior living community offering flexible living options paired with world-class amenities. Our team is here to help you find the perfect home for your loved ones and provide support along the way.

Visit our blog for a complete library of caregiver resources, plus financial tips and articles on health and wellness.

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