As Baby Boomers, we value our independence and autonomy and respect our parents. They maintain a strong front but when crisis time occurs, they are overwhelmed and can barely cope with the necessary, forced changes. We need to be far more proactive with our aging parents.
This poignant realization hit me hard today. I’ve been working with a family whose daughter is in from out-of-state to help mom and dad move to the city she lives in, along with her daughter and the daughter’s family. Dad is 89 and spry, and Mom is 86 with dementia, and it has become increasingly difficult for Dad to take care of Mom.
They have lived in their charming mid-century modern home in Littleton for 49 years. Dad is an artist, and the walls are lovingly adored with his art and other treasures from his collections. Every picture has a story, and he can tell you about every single one of them!
Mom, of course, has collections of every sort which she has lovingly gathered for over four decades. And they were voracious readers and have at least 1,000 books! The home is neat as a pin, and clean as a whistle, but there are A LOT of “memories”.
Today, when I was there with the stager and downsizing expert, Mom had had a total meltdown in the morning about the move, and she was still crying inconsolably. They have to move for everyone’s welfare… Dad needs help with caregiving which the daughter and granddaughter can help provide for Mom’s well-being.
So there’s no staging or decluttering being done now. Tomorrow I am contacting my HDReal photographer to photograph the home exactly as it is now (Architectural Digest magazine quality) and get a bound book made for them.
Memories are everything!