As we age into our elder years, it isn’t always a viable option to remain in the family home. Situations change, and sometimes it no longer makes sense to continue living in the same place. Many factors can spark the need for a move. For instance, there may be just too much space in the house, and it is not practical for one or two people to live in. Too many stairs, high costs of keeping a house, and the work to maintain it are common reason to question staying.
Should I downsize?: Finances
An individual’s general financial situation tends to change after retirement. Moving to a smaller house or condo usually results in a profit, and that money can be used for financial peace of mind as seniors usually live off investments. If you feel you cannot do the math yourself, a consultation with a financial adviser may be inexpensive, yet very valuable. How much will maintenance of your home and grounds cost? Are you capable or satisfied to carry these costs?
The financial aspect aside, moving is a huge operation for a senior. It is physically and mentally demanding. A senior considering moving house should not only discuss it with a financial adviser, but also discuss it with family and friends in great detail to make sure it really is the best thing for them. In the end though, it is the senior’s decision. Laurie Bell with Moving Seniors with a Smile can certainly help with the daunting move, and help you declutter and scale down your possessions so they don’t hold you captive!
Should I downsize?: Emotional Attachment
Aside from the physical and mental burden, there is also an emotional aspect to consider. If this home is the place where your loved one grew up, or lived there for the majority of adult life, it can be tough to let go. There are bound to be a lot of fond memories and experiences tied to that house. Your loved one will likely need a lot of support during this stressful time. It is important to say goodbye and retain a few keepsakes to help with the emotional process.
Should I downsize?: Making the Right Move
Choosing the right living space to move to is incredibly important. A senior’s health and lifestyle will largely dictate the type of living quarters that will be the best fit. If your loved on is no longer capable of maintenance and general upkeep, an apartment or condo is more practical than a house. Here are some factors to consider:
- Are there too many stairs or tight spaces that are difficult to navigate?
- Is it near family in case of emergencies?
- How is the neighborhood? Are there are any parks or places to walk and exercise?
- Is it close to necessities like grocery stores, libraries, banks, hospitals, or community centres?
- Does it need work or retrofitting?
- Will it require a lot of maintenance?
These are just a few things to consider when contemplating a move. If moving house looks to be the most reasonable option, then preparations can get underway.
Should I downsize?: Preparations
Hiring professional movers is most likely the best way to take care of the moving of belongings, unless family members are available to handle the physical labor (although a large, strong, helpful family with time on their hands will be needed). It is best to give yourself a long time to sort through your possessions and get ready for the move. The adage that “death, divorce, and moving are the three traumas in life” rings true, and your loved one may have already experienced the death of their spouse. A professional downsizer in Toronto and North York can be paid from some of the proceeds of the sale of house, and their help will be immeasurable. They will create a schedule of appointments when they will come and help you sort through your belongings. They will also help pack and move to your new place. What a lift to know that a team of people are supporting you through such a major transition!
Should I downsize?: Staying home!
Many of our clients have chosen to stay in their family home. It is where they have lived for forty years, raised their children and feel most comfortable. If your loved one has dementia, the family home may still be very familiar to them, and is the best place for care and comfort. If you want to stay home, but feel that mobility challenges are making it difficult, we can help. Our home care services can perform light housekeeping, meal preparation, assistance with bathing and dressing. We can help you stay home for as long as you wish. We can also coordinate safety rails, bath chairs, and stair lifts to make your home safer and more comfortable.