Helping Your Elderly Relative Downsize? Use These Helpful Tips

Posted on: 27 December 2017

With the huge wave of Baby Boomers growing older, many Americans find themselves worrying about one or more elderly relatives who need to downsize. This is especially true for adult children with a widowed or divorced parent who is living alone in a home they can no longer maintain or afford.

But convincing them to move out of a home filled with memories is difficult to do. If you are currently worried about an elderly parent or relative who needs to downsize for health, safety, or financial reasons, the following tips can help you convince them that downsizing can offer them many benefits as they age. 

Invite them to view senior-friendly condo options

Condos have gained a lot of popularity in the last few decades, yet many people remain unfamiliar with their benefits and features. If your elderly parent or relative falls into this category, start the discussion of downsizing by taking them to public open house events for senior-friendly condos in the area where they would enjoy living. When they have an opportunity to see that these units can be just as spacious and comfortable as their single family home, their objections may start to fade. 

When attending these open house events, be sure to spend some time explaining how some of the amenities offered could benefit them. For example: 

  • limited entries, with guards, key cards or codes, security lighting, and cameras can all help to keep them safe
  • freedom from lawn care and exterior maintenance can save them money
  • access to amenities like pools, spas, exercise rooms, and club houses can provide physical exercise and the opportunity to meet others in their age group

If possible, let them explore the unit and development at their own pace and then let them think about the idea for a bit before discussing it further.

Illustrate the financial benefits of selling their current home and downsizing

Financial issues are one of the most pressing reasons for an older parent or relative to consider downsizing. In many cases, this happens because the cost of maintaining their current home becomes more expensive as it ages and declines in condition. If the older person's health is compromised, medical costs and mobility issues can also make downsizing the best option. 

A good way to help your elderly parent or relative understand the financial benefits involved in downsizing is to ask a 55 plus real estate professional to meet with your relative. They can provide current market data to help your elderly loved one understand what their home's current market value is and and how downsizing now could benefit them financially.  


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