Thursday, December 27, 2012

Helping Mom And Dad Sell Antiques, Collectibles, Art When There Are Beginning Signs of Dementia

Helping Older Adults Downsize When There Are Early Signs of Dementia 

A few years ago, my dad was beginning to liquidate the contents of his home. He began by trying to sell his paintings which he had acquired in his more prosperous years. With a turn in the economy he was hoping to sell off some of his paintings to help pay the bills.

Saying Good Bye To Art And Collections

It was indeed a very sad state of affairs when dad had to part with the paintings he had collected for many years. At that time dad still had his memory and cognitive abilities. He knew how to evaluate who he was getting advice from and he was still actively engaged in the world at large.

Helping Parents Sell Antiques And Collections: Estate Liquidation

But what happens when a parent begins to develop early dementia and slowly begins to slip away from the world at large.  Should they be selling anything on their own? This post is to open up the conversation about helping older adults participate in downsizing before they are having progressed symptoms of dementia. And by all means, keep mom and dad always in the loop, gently helping them with the process.

Keeping An Eye On What Parfents Are Sellng And When

If you are the adult child of a parent who is an Octogenarian or even older you will probaly find yourself involved sooner or later in the care of that parent and the liquidation of  heirlooms, collectibles and valuables. It is best to keep on eye on the situration as early as possible. If you suspect that a parent is starting  to have trouble with memory, activities of  daily living  or managing their household and finances etc. they will certainly need help in dealing with  Auction houses, galleries, Antique stores etc. Even if your parent(s) has modest collections, you still want to evaluate what you have before you accept any offers.

Intervening Early When A Parent Starts Showing Signs of Dementia

The time to step into the situtation is before the symptoms of dementia as described below are observed. However if you find yourself already in the middle of Mom or dad's dementia, you may want to take a more active role in deciding what goes where and when.

You will also need to get legal authority, so be sure to consult an attorney to establish a Power of Attorney so you can advocate for a parent who needs your help.

How I Antique Can Help With Resources And  Information

If you do not have a background in antiques, collectibles or art you may want to join my free site I Antique This is the largest social network on antiques and  collectibles. With over two hundred group forums on every imaginable topic related  to  antiques, you will find lots of helpful information and resources. We welcome new members and you wil find a very congenial atmosphere . This is a great community to help you learn more about the collectibles you are evaluating and the options available to you for liquidation.

I especially urge you to visit a group on the site I Antique called "Estate Mavens: Help With Estate Liquidation" . I co-moderate this group along with Julie Hasll aka The Estate Lady.

Signs Of Early Dementia

Some of the signs that a parent might show when there are early signs of  dementia are :

1. Confusion about what bills to pay.
2. Paying the same bill several times.
3. Unopened mail.
4. Disorganized workspace.
5. Comfusion on how to use computer and send and receive emails.
6. Pulloing away form uusal activities i.e. reading the newspaper, going food shopping.
7. Not eating and drinking properly, getting dehyddrated.
8. Poor grooming, not shaving, not bathing.
9. Mixing up the names of children, forgetting important events and milestones.
10. Change in personality

Photos were taken at Antiques On The Farmington, Collinsville, CT

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If you need help regarding Senior Care Services and Eldercare contact my friend Sheri Morris MSW, ACSW, LCSW a very experienced Geriatric Social Worker. Her website is My Senior Care Connection. 

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro caf√©. To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at Visit my website, Dianne is a member of: The American Society of Journalists and Authors The Society of Professional Journalists

1 comment:

  1. As much as we don't want to think about this for ourselves or our elderly parents it so important to plan ahead.
    Many years ago my mother handed over the complete contents of her fathers home to a man, a stranger she net at the hospital her dad was in. The man came off as caring individual who would help her liquidate the estate items while she could care for her dying father.
    He ended up stealing everything and claimed it was all junk so he told me he threw it all away.
    Maybe some of it was but I remember a houseful of goodies from the 1920s, 30s and 40s. He had a beautiful art deco vanity..something Jean Harlow sat at to put her make on. So many wonderful things taken and never seen again.
    None of us want to think about the future and what it may bring but for the sake of your family, do plan ahead and express your wishes before it's too late.