Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Core Principles of Sorting--Part Six

Senior Thursday

Everyone's family will face the time when they must sort through the belongings of senior family members or aging parents. This may be as a result of a move to assisted living, or upon the senior's passing. If the senior is still alive, the decisions are more difficult, whether the move is to a retirement community or a nursing home. In most cases, the new home is smaller, and thus, many of their possessions can't go with them.

Some seniors keep belongings of deceased spouses or children. It is important to help them deal with this loss and move on. The sixth core principle of sorting is to be non-judgmental and empathetic, and to listen to the senior. This can ease the process.

Adult children helping seniors can participate in sorting decisions, but should not control them if the senior is still alive. Advice can help, but the ultimate decision is the senior's.

If adult children are just as indecisive, it can delay the process. Some children are more paralyzed in making decisions than their parents. In this case, the process should be handled by an objective outsider.

It is undertandable that when sorting through a deceased family member’s belongings, the surviving members may still be grieving. Sorting is like saying a final farewell. Let the family member have their moment of grief before moving on.

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