Time to Move?
Mar 28, 2019
Do you think it is important to live independently if possible? Do you see senior housing as a place for someone much older than you? If so, you are not alone. In our culture, independent living is fiercely guarded, and is usually translated into a privately owned, single-family home. While I certainly cherish independence, my overseas experience helped me to realize that community and connection are even more important to me. Furthermore, I recognize that what brought happiness at one stage of life does not always bring happiness at another.
For example, when my kids were young, the requisite big, Alberta-style garden was rewarding. However, now that the kids are gone and my back is gone with them, the joy of a big garden has withered away like the untended peas on a hot August day. I’m pretty content with a raised planter of veggies and a little hanging herb pot in my kitchen. But it took me a long time to admit that I no longer enjoyed having a huge garden. In the same way, it is hard to recognize when our current housing situation is no longer appropriate and perhaps has become a burden. Through conversations and research about when it is a good time to consider moving into senior housing, I’ve gathered a few ideas.
- Your needs may be different from what they used to be. It was perfect to live on 6 acres in the country when our kids were little. However, as they grew older, we were constantly on the road for sports and school events. Our weekends became marathons of mowing the sandy acres of “grass” (aka weeds) or shoveling the long driveway. We were happy to relinquish these responsibilities and move to a new phase of life in a large city where we walked and biked everywhere and enjoyed our much smaller yard. Surprisingly, we discovered that we were outside even more than when we lived in the country, thanks to the many beautiful parks and trails.
- Your health status may be a challenge. Does the activity of house and yard work, farm chores, and snow shoveling feel good, or is it causing increasing aches and pains? If you’re having mobility issues, you need more and more help, or your family is worried about your safety, consider downsizing and simplifying. You might be delighted to discover new ways to keep active and engaged in healthy practices that work for your needs.
- Your support system is important. Do you regularly get together with family and enjoy connection with friends, or are you wishing you could get out more? Research indicates that 25% of Canadian seniors feel isolated and/or lonely much of the time. This is a health risk that can be addressed with a change of living situation. If you feel isolated, lonely, or stuck at home too much, moving to a senior community setting makes it easier to find support and friendship.
- What brings you joy now? Recognize that this may be different than what brought you joy in the past. For my husband and I, travel was quite difficult and financially out of reach when the kids were young, but now it is an important part of our life. For you, it might be going south for the winter, cooking, spending time with the grandkids, writing a book, volunteering, overseas mission trips, or a myriad of other activities. Ask yourself if your current lifestyle fits with what brings you joy. Would a move to an independent living senior condo or duplex free you up to pursue your passions?
I hope these suggestions help you to reflect on your needs, health, support system and passions. If you want to look more closely at moving to an independent living duplex or condo-style apartment designed for those 60 years of age and up, right here in beautiful Lacombe, stop in at the Charis Village office or call for an appointment and we will be happy to show you how to plan well for your future.