Downsizing for Safety
My friend Sybil, an only child, contacted me with concerns about her mother, Jane. A retired teacher, Jane enjoys good health and is still active with her friends and church activities; however, she has slowed down considerably in the past few years.
“Over the years I’ve noticed that her house has filled up with knick-knacks, stacks of paper, magazines, boxes, furniture, and who knows what else,” Sybil said. Sybil felt confident that her mother was capable of safely staying in her home, and Jane wants to stay in her own home as long as possible.
Sybil said, “If she’s to remain in her home, I need to be assured that her home is both healthy and safe. Can Moving On! help?” “We’d be very pleased to help your mother downsize to ensure she can continue in her independence for as long as possible,” I replied.
“Your concern is justified since the major cause of injury and even death in the elderly are from falls – with 80% of these occurring in the home,” I added.
When the Moving On Team downsizes for health and safety, we re-design or re-decorate the home environment which enables any age person with medical issues as well as the elderly to safely navigate walk paths in their surroundings.
Many older homes do not include safety features that accommodate a person’s gradual evolution of physical loss that sometimes go unnoticed such as diminished vision, hearing, smell, and coordination.
Downsizing in this situation means replacing, repairing, fixing, and/or removing unsafe situations or unneeded items from the home – it means creating a healthy, safe environment.
Beginning the project, the Moving On! The team addressed tasks that would result in immediate health and safety improvements. We originated lists of emergency phone numbers, developed an escape route, and practiced it with Jane.
We created first-aid kits, placing them in strategic areas. Next, we cleared extension cords and other objects from pathways and stairways; removed scatter rugs, and relocated items that are used every day, placing them within easy reach. We removed old cleaning products that were rusty and emitting chemical smells. We checked and replaced the fire alarm batteries, and rearranged or removed low furniture which had become a falling hazard.
Going up the stairs, we tape marked stair edges, replaced light bulbs, and tightened handrails screws. We gave special attention to the bedside table, and in the bathroom, we installed necessary grab bars and other accessories that allowed both safety and convenience.
After the safety improvements, we sought Jane’s direction for the sorting process. We carefully sorted the clutter, stacks of paper, magazines, books, boxes, knick-knacks, and extra furniture. Afterward, we initiated the sales process, recycling, and charitable donation services.
At project completion, Sybil and Jane were amazed at the transformation. “I had forgotten just how lovely my house is!” Jane said. “I’m so glad everything is cleared out; things just kept piling up; I was overwhelmed and didn’t know how or where to start!
Not only did I receive some money for the things I sold, but now I feel safe! And I’ve employed a cleaning service so I can enjoy living in my home and having guests visit,” Jane happily added.
This downsizing project was a success for both Sybil and Jane. Anxiety was removed and Jane was able to move on – completely enjoying her family, friends, and most importantly, her new safe living environment.
Certified Senior Advisor (Ret.)
Moving On! Services LLC
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Moving On! Services LLC services all of Hampton Roads to Richmond Virginia, Central Virginia, and areas east to include York and Gloucester County, and the Eastern Shore. MOVING ON! provides a Single Point of Contact for as much or as little that needs to be done – related to the disposition of household items and personal property. First consultations are always free.
Our services include Downsizing Lifestyle Change, Appraisals and Auctions, Estate Liquidations, and Senior Move Specialists. Above all, we have the expertise for Aging in Place services. For example, Personal Shopping, Errand, Sort, Space Planning, Pack, Move, Unpack, Redecorate, Reorganize, Charitable Donations, Books & Bibles, Disposal of Surplus Possessions, Deep Cleaning, Organizing, and Redecorating.