« Back to Blog

What's keeping you from moving to a retirement community?

Many older adults consider a move to a senior living community, but the idea of downsizing to a smaller home feels so daunting. How can you even choose what to let go?

The process may be easier than you think -- once you overcome the emotions that cause people to feel overwhelmed.

The mental challenges of downsizing

Moving is never simple. Moving to a smaller home that can’t accommodate all your possessions becomes even more complicated.

Here are just a few examples of the mental obstacles that seniors may need to overcome to make the move to a senior living community:

• We have a lifetime’s worth of “stuff,” enough to fill up an entire house, including attic, basement, and garage! How do I choose what to keep and what to get rid of? What do I do with the things I can’t take with me?

• Besides the clutter, my house needs repairs I can’t do myself. How will I get it ready to put on the market?

• How will I pack up and move all my possessions? Extensive physical labor is already hard…packing and moving an entire home feels completely overwhelming.

The emotional challenges of downsizing

Then, there are the strong emotions that come with the thought of downsizing. It's understandable if you feel anxious, depressed, stressed or sad about the idea of getting rid of your staff and moving to a smaller home.

Here are a few of the common emotional challenges:

• We’ve lived in this home for most of our lives. We raised our children here. We celebrated birthdays and holidays here, mourned losses here, and formed a lifetime of memories that are all associated with this home. How can I let this house go?

• I feel like I’m still too young to move to a retirement community. I don’t use a walker or a cane, like many of the people who already live there. I’m just not “that old” yet.

• I’m simply not sure if I’m ready to make this move, knowing it could be the last move I will make. I’m not prepared to close this chapter in my life and begin what feels like the final one.

For these reasons, as well as concerns about finances, it can be tempting to put off a move to a retirement community for another time…when you think you’ll be “more ready.”

Overcoming the challenges

Downsizing and moving is a big decision, often life-changing but it doesn't have to leave you paralyzed. Take into account the following points:

• Choosing to age in your own home may be the easiest solution for now, but what would happen if you had a health setback that requires care? This option may end up being physically challenging, especially if you don't have a bedroom and bathroom on the first level of your home. And it can become expensive - the current average cost of in-home care starts around $4,000 per month. Additionally, aging in place may put a burden on your adult children, who may end up dealing with the challenges that come with caring for an elderly parent.

• Eventually, someone will have to sort through all your possessions, decide what to keep and what to toss, pack up those things, move them out of your house, and sell the home. Once again, this task will likely fall on your children or other loved ones, and it can be a heart-wrenching and exhausting chore for them.

• While it is common for people to feel unsure about their decision to move to a community, very few people regret it. They recognize that any sacrifices made are well-worth the many benefits of living in a community that meets their needs now and in the future.

• Retirement community residents often report they’re glad they moved earlier, rather than waiting. They can take advantage of many amenities like fine dining, fitness centers, or fun excursions. They’re also grateful they had the time to develop friendships with other residents, who then become a built-in social and support network.

Making downsizing easier

There are many resources available to assist seniors with the downsizing process.

Professional companies can pack your possessions, load them into the moving truck, and then unload them in your new home, putting furniture in the right spot and even setting up beds. Many of these moving companies also will pick up the empty boxes once you’re unpacked in your new home.

Click here to learn how to get started with decluttering and downsizing

Real estate professionals who have obtained a Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) designation have special training on issues and concerns related to older home buyers and sellers. A senior's home is likely their most valued and valuable asset, and these specialists understand this. They are also especially sensitive to the fact that moving after many years or decades can be highly emotional.

And then, some communities have move-in coordinators. After making a deposit and narrowing in on a move date, the move-in coordinator can help with downsizing decisions, referrals for realtors, handy people, and movers, interior space planning for your new home, and other moving day logistics. This service can alleviate much of the stress —emotional and physical — that typically comes moving into a community.

Downsizing and moving to a smaller home at a retirement community like Manor of the Plains is a big decision that requires serious consideration. But, if you decide it’s worth it, you may just find that it feels as if a weight has been lifted, and you were more ready for the change than you thought!

If you’re unsure about what you’d like to do, or your options, we’re here to help. Contact us online or call us at 620-225-1928 - we can answer your questions and guide you towards the right decision for you.

The above content is legally licensed for use by myLifeSite.

« Back to Blog