Downsizing is arguably one of the most important transitions that a person needs to tackle in later life. It’s also a big and often overwhelming change that has the potential to be emotionally fraught. However, there’s simply no denying the benefits that such a big decision brings to the table — not the least of which is how downsizing is widely regarded as a great way to improve one’s quality of life in one’s senior years. This also brings to mind other perks in terms of convenience, safety, and even financial freedom. So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at what downsizing means to you and how you can do it right.
The Options Available
It’s often a foregone conclusion that seniors will start facing health challenges as they get older. Medical conditions may worsen, mobility limitations may increase, and mental health may even decline. Subsequently, the need for care and assistance then becomes more vital — and in many cases, maybe even urgent. This is where downsizing comes in.
Essentially, downsizing provides the opportunity to let go of a way of living that no longer serves you so you can explore other living arrangements that are more suited to your current situation and capabilities. As such, it’s not at all uncommon for older adults to sell large and largely empty family homes and move to assisted living facilities, independent living communities, or nursing homes. With these senior living options, you are guaranteed to receive the care and daily living assistance you need while also enjoying engaging in activities and the company of other seniors.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been numerous concerns about these facilities. Thankfully, your downsizing options don’t end there. Many seniors also choose to age in place in smaller, more accessible homes that are more satisfactory to their needs and lifestyle. It’s a good idea, therefore, to also explore such an alternative, which invariably takes us to our next point.
A New Kind of Challenge
There’s also the question of how you can sell your old home and buy a new one. Social distancing rules have put a stop on property showings and visits, which is not only a challenge as you downsize and sell your home, but also when you’re searching for a new home in earnest.
If waiting until after the lockdown is not an option, know that there are ways you can still buy a home during the pandemic (as well as sell your old one). While sheltering in place, you can take your search online and even view houses in the location of your choosing through virtual open houses, video-chat tours, and 3D walkthroughs. It’s a “where there’s a will, there’s a way” situation, and modern technology exists to easily support your house-buying (or selling) efforts.
Completing the Process
Finally, know that downsizing is as much about the small stuff as anything. As you prepare to move to more appropriate dwellings, you do need to tackle your belongings. In most cases, the stuff accumulated throughout the course of a lifetime will be far too much for your new home, which will likely be smaller. For this reason, there’s a need to get organized.
It can be daunting, indeed, but this is something you’ll want to approach pragmatically. As a rule of thumb, keep and properly pack the keepsakes and valuable that you’ll be taking with you. As for the rest, you can sell them, give them away, or even throw them out. From there, it’s just a matter of arranging movers to help you make the big move to your new home, but do make sure that the service you go for has anti-COVID-19 measures in place for the time being.
Suffice it to say, downsizing can be a big step that requires real action. However, it’s also a step in the right direction, and the measures it demands really need not be complex. Like all changes made for the good, it will be worth the effort, and your improved quality of life will speak for it.
We can Help! Our local advisors can help your family make a confident decision about senior living.