An estimated seventy-seven million Americans born between the end of World War II and the beginning of the Vietnam War are considered baby boomers. This is a huge demographic dealing with not only their own desires to downsize, but their elderly parents' needs handling and sometimes dismantling their estates. Often this involves older homes filled with paperwork and material possessions that have been accumulating for decades. Along with that, is the very real possibility of having to deal with issues of dementia and illness. And what happens when those parents lose a spouse? This is pressure in and of itself for a generation dealing with their own transitions.
"That woman can flat out work! [After my wife died] I never dreamed we'd get so much done. That is the best money I ever spent."
Hiring a professional organizer to help go through their parents' homes and paperwork before things get too overwhelming and challenging lessens the burden on everyone. Continuing to work with them on a weekly basis for a few hours at a time can keep things under control and more manageable for everyone involved. It also eliminates the possibly emotional and volatile equivalent family members working with family members can create by providing the parents with someone who can be objective as they decide what to keep. This is particularly important when the death of a parent/spouse creates the need for a smaller dwelling or assisted living facility.
I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with a man whose wife suffered a stroke. I helped him organize her closets putting outfits together to streamline her dressing process when the decision making and dressing had become difficult for her. A few years later he called me back to help ready his home for his new wife. He confessed it was too emotional for him to have to sort through all of her things by himself. Coupled with that was the desire not to have to burden his children with that emotional task. Together we cleared out her closets and addressed all that had accumulated in the attic. The clothes and personal items their children weren't interested in having were removed and taken to consignment and Goodwill. Monogrammed towels and sheets were ordered along with preparing the home to receive his new wife and the new touches he wanted her to feel free to provide.
It's all about easing the burden for those involved. Parents have someone to objectively deal with their possessions without conflict and the adult children have welcomed assistance in handling the editing process and other issues with their parents' estates.
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