I'm a long-distance caregiver for an elderly cousin with middle-stage dementia who recently entered assisted living. Now I need to pack and close out her apartment. Any tips? The issues: What to send to her new room; what to keep (as her PoA); what to throw out, and how to throw it out. (Do I hire someone to take things to a thrift store, for instance?) And some things I'll want to send to other family members, but they all live in far-flung states -- what's the easiest way to get things from her place to our various homes? I'll have only a few days to sort and pack, and she has piles and piles of things to go through -- she was the keeper of our family's memorabilia, so I don't want to just ditch stuff without looking at it. Anyway, my head is spinning, so all tips appreciated!

LauraJMT, clearing out someone's home is never an easy task. JoAnn had a good idea about boxing up all the paperwork and sort through that later when you aren't under a time constant.

The UPS store is a good start for items to be sent to other family members. Make sure the family members really want these items. And if you are flying in to help your cousin, you can UPS boxes of paperwork to your home and have someone pick up the boxes until you return. Otherwise, rent an SUV and drive back home.

Find a thrift shop nearby where you can take things over to them. Anything left over, call one of those junk hauling places, they usually can come the next day. Some haulers even will do the donating and send you the receipts..

Good luck, hope it all goes smoothly. I remember clearing out my parents house to sell, it felt like it was never ending :P Thus the reason my sig other and I are clearing out my house of "stuff" this month.
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Reply to freqflyer

First, decide what she needs at the AL. Usually its one room with a small kitchenette and a large bath. What I saw in some of the rooms at Moms were basically the bedroom furniture. They have the bed, tall dresser and low dresser. The low dresser they put the TV. Then there was a recliner with a small table. The AL allowed a loveseat in place of the recliner. Some had a small table and a couple of chairs in the area of the kitchenette. Do not take anything worth money. Jewelry, figurines etc.

I used under the bed boxes to store clothing seasonally. I took towels, and bedding. A couple of sets of sheets and pillow cases.

Now apartment. Clean by room. Get rid of clothes she will never wear. If she is wearing Depends, throw out underwear. Shoes, keep basic ones. I kept a pair of black, blue, brown and white sandals.

Check to see if there is codicil to her Will to see if she has left certain things to certain people. Even check her will. You can put those things aside till her passing. As you clean out you will know what to keep and what to get rid of. Memorabilia could go to the family member that is the historian of the family.

Paperwork. Keep statements back 5 yrs in case you need them for Medicaid. Checks too. Tax records 5 to 7 yrs. Of course Insurance policies, bond, stock, shares. Really I boxed everything up and took it home until I could go thru it.

Kitchen. Just keep a few things she can use in her kitchenette. Items that can be used in a microwave. Pack up the good stuff, get rid of the junk.
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Reply to JoAnn29

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