Have you ever paused to think that clutter and our age have a significant relationship? In this episode of the podcast, I’m joined by an expert guest, Michele Magnar, who tells her fair share of experiences working with people, especially the elderly, and their clutter concerns. She has been a family caregiver since she was 28 years old. She realized she felt extremely connected to families and elderly people through her caregiving journey From her grandmother to her in-laws, she had a lot of experience guiding different people in their decluttering journey. Thanks to this, coaching and assisting other families on their journey has become her calling.
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Clutter is a shared issue among people, regardless of age. However, as we get older, clutter can become an even greater concern, both in terms of its physical impact on our living space and psychological impact on our mental health. The incredibly insightful conversation we had in our podcast episode unraveled that clutter plays a significant role in our aging journey and how important it is to have a “caregiver” or a support system in situations like this. Even though it’s challenging, sparking an open and honest initiative with your elder loved ones can bring a much-needed change to your caregiving journey.
But how do we navigate through it?
Consider WHO your resources are
Who can assist you in facilitating or navigating a conversation? It’s best to have someone or something that can promote a smooth and effective communication flow.
Measuring the success of the process!
Have the initiative to ask them how they see things playing out. Tell them if their ways seem unsustainable. Ask them if there are any improvements and how they envision the next few weeks, months, and years go.
The key to change is in uncomfortable silence.
When we make a suggestion or offer something to our loved ones, we sometimes feel uncomfortable and want to leave the situation as soon as possible. You don’t have to respond if that little bit of discomfort sets in. Don’t respond and just let yourself be uncomfortable.
Patience is key.
Some of us assume that someone is unable to make decisions simply because they have dementia or Alzheimer’s. And simply because they are older, we end up making decisions and doing things for them rather than working with them. Just remember that it’s TOTALLY FINE to move slowly. When starting conversations and striking the appropriate questions, we must exercise patience along the way.
The Role of Legacy in Clutter Attachments
Every object has a distinct identity and memory. There is always a deeper meaning behind the legacy piece and the repeated valuable stories about these special items. As a consequence, we become so emotionally attached to our possessions. Clutter becomes an issue when we attach our legacy to things that are no longer serving a practical purpose. They can carry the sentimental and emotional weight that can be difficult to let go of, especially when it comes to items that are connected to our legacy. We hold onto them even if they are no longer useful or relevant because they remind us of our past and the memories associated with them.
To wrap things up, as we age, we shouldn’t just ignore our relationship with clutter. We must make sure that it is constructed in a manner that enhances our mental and emotional health. You can do baby steps such as organizing your home, downsizing your belongings, or seeking guidance from trusted friends and family for advice to help you get rid of clutter. We can make our homes more calm, cozy, and enjoyable as we age by wisely removing clutter.
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When it involves providing support for loved ones, Michele is mindful of the challenges that families may stumble upon, particularly when stress and overwhelm are involved. This urged her to provide families with a wide range of resources, tools, and strategies that can help improve their mental well-being and provide them with the support they need through her program, “Inspired Caring.” It is created in hopes of sparking individuals to prioritize themselves and focus on their own values, thought processes, and expectations. Families can navigate the difficulties of caregiving with more assurance and ease with Michele’s help.
Instagram: Inspired Caring
Linkedin: Michele Magnar
Facebook: Michele Magnar