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By Abby Rosenblum | Organize and Downsize | January 26, 2012
We all know that families have changed a lot over the past two or three generations. Folks are living longer and adult children often live out of town or out of state. Maybe the situation is not ideal but we all learn to live with it.
When it comes time for Mom or Dad to downsize the family home, the rest of the family, whether or not they are in town, often feel very strongly about what should happen and how it should be done. Oftentimes siblings who have been separated emotionally and geographically for years suddenly come together to negotiate territory much more complicated than who is going to host Thanksgiving. They may find themselves and each other relating just as they did back in elementary school–complete with old rivalries, entrenched roles, and resentments.
Of course, this disharmony can sap whatever energy Mom and Dad had hoped to use on the upcoming move.
A Senior Move Manager serves two functions in this scenario. First, as a neutral party, she can help guide all family members to pragmatic solutions that honor the wishes of the parents or appointed decision-maker. Secondly, the senior move manager works closely with the parents in the execution of the tasks at hand. Memories are sparked as mementos are sorted and the stories begin to flow. As she listens, the move manager becomes almost a surrogate daughter, allowing the senior to come to terms with each stage of the process, moving things forward calmly, efficiently, and with much good humor.
They’re Your Parents Too: How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents’ Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy – by Francine Russo