There comes a time in everyone’s life where we must accept that we aren’t quite capable of caring for a big home anymore. Cleaning multiple bedrooms, going up and down stairs, it all becomes a little overwhelming. For most senior citizens, this time in their life is one that can be hard. The prospect of giving up the home they’ve come to know and love and accepting that they aren’t the same spring chicken of yesteryear isn’t the easiest thing to swallow.
However, recent polls of senior citizen communities show that after they have downsized and moved to a more manageable location, they are happier and healthier than their counterparts who do not. Preparing to downsize can prove stressful, but with these tips, we hope to make that transition easy for our wiser generation.
It’s easier to find a place that your life fits into once you’ve removed the excess. We suggest to sit down with close family members and start going room by room. First, remove and donate anything that you won’t be needing or giving to family, also known as useless junk. Secondly, make a storage list. This list will be items that you would like to keep, but don’t need in your new place. Box these items up and move them to a storage unit.
Expand Your Options
Downsizing as a senior citizen doesn’t have to mean a “nursing home”. Simply moving to a one level home or an apartment with less to clean and care for can dramatically improve quality of life. Contact a Realtor and tour several types of homes and senior communities so you have a good idea of what you’re looking for.
Safety is Paramount
According to the CDC, one third of older adults experience a fall every year, ultimately making up the second most cited reason for ER visits. When looking for a home for the golden years, evaluate safety concerns. Slippery floor surfaces, excessive steps, and poor access for emergency services are just a few things to consider. Remember, the point of this move is make things easier and safer, so don’t discount the safety factors of a home.
Location is Key
Seniors typically live a more active social life than their kids. Monday brunch, Tuesday Gin, bingo Fridays and so on are all important parts of enjoying retirement. It’s also important to note that Seniors visit their doctors more frequently than other age groups and that makes location extremely important. Make sure your new home is close to friends, family and activities as well as your trusted healthcare providers.
If you no longer drive, rather by choice or due to a medical condition, you’ll want to be sure to understand the public and private transportation options of a potential home. Call the local board of aging and get a list of bus and private car services and what area they cover. For the older children helping with this move, don’t ignore this part. While your help is greatly appreciated, most Seniors prefer to arrange their own transport rather than having to rely on friends and family.
Moving with, or for seniors presents a different set of challenges and requires us to think about things we wouldn’t normally consider. However, making sure those who came before us are safe, secure and have all the resources they need to thrive in their new home is of utmost importance. Be sure to reference our guide above and make sure your loved ones make the transition in the easiest way possible.