Downsizing Advice for Older Adults Who Need a Safe Place to Retire
Downsizing to a smaller home has many advantages for seniors, including added safety and fewer worries; after all, having fewer financial and maintenance-related responsibilities will allow you to focus more on your happiness and less on your home. However, it comes with a lot to think about and plan for as well. You need to have a budget in mind, and there are some difficult decisions that have to be made in regards to which way you want to go: aging-in-place or moving into an assisted living or independent living facility.
There’s also the downsize itself. Packing, figuring out which of your belongings to keep and which ones to get rid of, and moving all take careful planning if you want to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Knowing the difference between the various types of housing available to seniors is important, so do some research to find out what your options are before making a decision. Keep reading for advice and tips on how to find a safe and comfortable place to retire in.
Know Your Options
Seniors have many options these days when it comes to finding safe housing. If you’re in good health and want to continue living at home, a downsize might mean moving into a smaller house that will give you less to take care of and fewer safety hazards, such as stairs. However, many seniors want to find a community of like-minded people and choose an independent living facility, which provides housing, senior-specific amenities, and areas for social activities with other seniors. Assisted living is a third option, which may also provide some healthcare services and helps with daily activities, such as bathing. Knowing what your options are will help you make an informed decision on where to spend your post-retirement years.
Learn How to Properly Downsize
Downsizing for seniors isn’t just about finding a smaller home in order to save money; it’s also about making sure your health will be protected for years to come. This means you’ll need to think hard about what items will be coming to your new home and how to get rid of a few things because clutter can be dangerous for both your mental health and physical health as you get older. As HomeAdvisor points out, it may be difficult to make some of these decisions about your belongings, so be prepared to pass down large pieces of furniture that hold sentimental value to a family member, or to store them temporarily.
Stay in Touch
Moving can be a major undertaking, and even when it’s a positive one, you may feel anxiety or even depression at the idea of making such a significant life change. This is normal, but it’s important to make sure you stay in touch with friends and loved ones during the process and after you’re settled in. You may need a support system, but just as important is the feeling of normalcy you’ll get during what can be an upheaval, and that will help to prevent overwhelmed or anxious feelings. Not only that, visiting and communicating with your friends and loved ones can help boost your cognitive function and raise your self-esteem as well.
Make It Safe
Whether you’re moving into an apartment, a house, a senior community, or an assisted living facility, there will likely be some things you need to do to ensure your continued safety and to prevent falls. These may be small changes, such as adding a shower seat and non-slip mats in the bathroom, or they can be bigger modifications, like installing a ramp over the front steps. Go through each room in your new place to see what kind of changes you can make and to get an idea of what your budget should be for these projects.
Downsizing is a great way to make sure you’ll be safe and happy as you grow older, but it comes with a lot of decisions. Think about how to personalize your downsize so you can make the most of it, both now and down the road as you move further into retirement.