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What to do in the Years Before the Move

It's a cruel reality that our brains make change so much harder as we age, but that doesn't mean that our lives stop changing. Sometimes people have to move to a senior community suddenly because of a health issue. Others slowly get to the point where they can't maintain their house or become isolated. This can be traumatic if they have not altered their living space in a long time. If you have a parent or loved one who has been in their house for a long time, there are some things you can do to help them in the years before they need to move:

-Schedule a closet clean out day once or twice a year. Make it fun. Put on some music and have plenty of good snacks handy. Clean out the closets, thin our the unused kitchen items, and go through the garage. Then, order dinner in from a favorite restaurant as a relaxing reward. Doing this on a regular basis gets them used to the idea of living without that stuff they haven't looked at in years.

-Connect them with a family or a charity that could use the things they don't need. They learn to feel good about donating their stuff and it's the right thing to do for the planet.

-Encourage them to change their environment occasionally. Trade out some furniture and swap out some decorative items. Remind them that a refresh can be fun.

Done in the right way, these efforts can bring you closer to your loved one and give them a positive association with change.

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