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 supercedes 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.