If you’re one of the lucky ones, you can “age in place.” So what does that mean?
It means with minor adjustments like chair lifts or ramps or major ones like remodeling a bathroom or moving a laundry room, you can stay longer in the home you love and are used to.
But for most seniors, especially those who have lost a spouse and are now alone, the burden of upkeep on a single family home, even if adaptations have been made, becomes too worrisome. Yard maintenance, appliance repair, and general upkeep is an uphill battle, often impossible to do by yourself without expensive help.
So, you are faced with the reality of a move, and that is more than you want to contemplate. It means downsizing – parting with treasures, familiar views, and close neighbors. Nobody wants to think about it, let alone do it. The sorting, the packing, the unpacking – ugh.
But the first, and most important step is to adopt the right frame of mind. Come to terms with the basic concept of “shelter” and what that means to most people on the planet. If you’re dry, if you’re warm, if you’re safe, THEN you are blessed with the common denominator on any human being’s wish list for a shelter.
Start there and be GRATEFUL. If you know you are blessed then you can proceed with a lighter heart and it makes the downsizing process so much easier. Downsizing in America means you may go from having more than you need to having JUST what you need. That is a win/win. Let’s all get a grip.
Finally, the term “shelter” is all-encompassing. Not only are you looking for a new home to embrace you but you will probably have friends and family to continue wrapping their hearts and arms around you. The love and support of expanded family will always shelter you and supersedes the attachment to anything you will ever put on a moving truck. So do not be afraid to seek new shelter. There are very few of us left out in the cold.