Don’t Toss My Memories in the Trash: A Step-by-Step Guide to Helping Seniors Downsize, Organize, and Move is a book. But it’s also a plea, spoken by someone forced to hastily move out of his/her home because a complication of aging has caused him/her catastrophic harm. Vickie Dellaquila, a Certified Professional Organizer(R) of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals, a Certified Professional Organizer – Chronic Disorganization(R) of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization, and a member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers, has heard it many times. The words are the heart of her book.
Ms. Dellaquila knows the emotional dangers of such a move: “It’s still not the right time to make my parent leave home,” “we should have done this months ago, and then my parent wouldn’t have broken a hip.” “You’re just trying to get me out of the way to take my stuff,” “Wait, don’t you want this to go to your grandchild: don’t give that to charity!” “I’m too tired to make these decisions, you just do it!” “Don’t you tell me what to do!”
Ms. Dellaquila doesn’t offer a true minute-point-by-minute-point guide to the process of helping seniors change homes. But she provides a comprehensive overview of the process, vantage points of the best and worst possible ways to accomplish such transitions and therefore mechanisms to try to avoid obstacles and maximize success. I would suggest that this is a good book to read first for strategies in helping an Elder downsize and/or move to a more senior-friendly situation. Once you’ve read it, there are several excellent books which give people more specific tools to use: How to Say It to Seniors by David Solie and Lynda G. Shrager’s Age in Place are ones I recommend.