Last week when I blogged about downsizing, I was in a bit of a hurry. Still feel as though I have a few more thoughts to share with you this week.There was a time when Alex and I thought we would stay in the home we built – “forever and ever, Amen.” But we changed our minds and downsized after 31 years. This is often the case. We come to a crossroads as we mature, and realize that it’s OK to do an about face and take another road. It brings to mind the many options seniors have today for their “forever and evers.” As I see it, there are definite advantages to each option. It’s a matter of what you decide is right for you!
The first option, of course, is to stay put and “age in place” (a phrase that’s been coined in just the past few years). Our own Laurie Orlov (see yesterday’s post), provides wonderful information and resources on her website Aging in Place Technology. Here are three sites (including Laurie’s) that are useful. Of course you have but to Google “aging in place” for more sites.
You'll see lots of pictures like this:
If you choose, as Alex and I did, to downsize, there are many options. One is to simply buy a smaller home or townhome, or rent an apartment. This is a good decision for seniors who are healthy, financially independent and eager to give up the upkeep and maintenance of their larger home. If you choose an apartment, you often lose some amenities (things like hardwood floors, granite countertops, plantation shutters, walk-in closets etc.). It’s just a tradeoff for no yard work, less house to clean, and maintenance at the touch of the dial.
Oh, my gosh! They are everywhere! Since we’re now an “aging population” in the United States, developers and entrepreneurs are surging to meet the senior housing need. Again, here are some websites to explore:
Del Webb is one of the pioneers of the retirement community concept, and one of the largest.
If you Google “retirement communities” and add the name of your city, you’ll get local options. My guess is there will be plenty. These cater to active adults 55 and over. They usually have different housing options (configurations), organized recreation programs, health care available, and many are part of a larger complex that includes additional assisted and health care for later life.
You'll see lots of pictures like this:
For seniors requiring added assistance, meals, limited nursing care etc., a retirement home with these services is certainly the answer. You can go to the website below to get an idea of the concept, then add your city for local options.
As you’ll see while “Googling” various retirement or senior housing options, the world is at your fingertips. Best to have a plan in mind to narrow these options before you start! There’s no way we can cover the entire spectrum of options open to you through the World Wide Web.
You’ll see lots of pictures like this:
Point is, here is just another way the Internet can take you to worlds of information and places that would have been impossible to learn about so quickly just a few short years ago. Through lists, pictures, articles, blogs, reviews, and even virtual video tours, you can see for yourself. It is a great benefit in making a decision as to what to do and where to go, and which type of environment is perfect for your lifestyle, health and hobbies. And it’s free. You don’t even have to wait for the brochure to come in the mail!
We had wonderful neighbors through the years in our home, but we only knew a few of them. Most of us had 6-foot fences on the back and sides of our houses. You usually knew your next door neighbor, the across-the-alley neighbor, and the across-the-street neighbor. But walk a few houses down the street and you didn’t know anyone! When you live in a house, you see your neighbor outside now and then bringing in groceries, mowing the lawn or getting into his car. So you wave and smile.
Apartment living totally changed that. When you live in an apartment, you go out the door and the neighbor is right there across the hall or getting into his car right next to you, or walking his dog! We found that we came to know people much faster here, and it has given us a sense of “community” that we never had in our “old” home. It’s very nice. We socialize more, we even feel more secure and protected in the knowledge that our neighbor is looking out for us and our property.
have fun. Enjoy life!
If you have a story to share, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.