It’s another common objection to a move into senior housing. “The rooms are too small! What will I do with all of my stuff?”
When it comes to storage, you probably wont find senior residences, not even the most glorious of suites, that can compete with a spacious home. A big house complete with a basement, garage and attic will store a lifetime of possessions. But it might not fit the lifestyle of an aging adult who can’t drive or climb stairs easily. And it’s lonely.
Nonetheless, the contents of a house and the house itself is more than just stuff; these items are priceless to the owner and filled with memories that help them maintain a sense of identity. For a prospect, moving means losing or not properly finding a home for their heirlooms, collections and whatever else they are holding on to. It poses too much of a Risk. It’s not easy letting go.
But if it is in the prospect’s best interest, it’s worth a try to advance the move and inspire change as a sales counselor. You might offer to arrange alternative storage for the prospect. Maybe help them sell some of the larger items, or you could reach out to family members the heirlooms may be some day intended for. Having possessions can be reassuring, but downsizing can be liberating, too. It’s an opportunity to clear out the clutter and focus on what’s important.
But be sure to expect an emotional process. The act of clearing things out stir up emotions in everyone, and it can be overwhelming to be faced with that much change, especially at a late stage in life. A Huffington Post article discussed a somewhat similar similar topic on the difficulties of changing careers late in life. One section struck a familiar chord:
“Transition at this age may feel like a humiliating defeat. But that’s because we were raised to believe that we should have it all figured out by now.”
A prospect’s “stuff” should stay with them until it’s passed down in a will–that’s how it has always been, right? But people didn’t live as long as they did now, and people have to adapt to changing situations more so than they did before. If a prospect wants to stay in their house forever, then a sales counselor can make advances by addressing the discrepancies between keeping roomfuls of possessions and having access to friends and what must be a better quality of life. Pose such a change as a new adventure rather than a final chapter. You might find that once the obstacle of a full house has been overcome, there is amazing potential for changes and growth.