Moving from a house to a condo is a something facing many seniors today. With less emphasis on generational dwellings and an increase in the availability of smaller homes and condos, the parents of Baby Boomers are making some big changes to their home life. And even though these are decisions made by choice, many face the decision to scale back the size their living space with trepidation.
Whether moving into a senior’s apartment complex, a smaller condo-style independent living or assisted living facility or to a nursing home, it is often daunting to leave the family home and the source of memories, triumphs, and tragedies over many years. The emotional toll is a significant matter to consider throughout the process and it is sometimes necessary to seek counselling as a family to come to terms with these decisions.
Practically, down-sizing can be challenging if a senior is moving from a 3,000 square foot house to a 1,000 square foot apartment. The question of property becomes critical. Just how does one fit all their belongings into the new space? An important debate ensues regarding what is essential and what is merely sentimental. If the move is to an even smaller space at an assisted living or care facility, then the consideration becomes what will allow them to have a measure of independence: a small fridge and microwave, a space for photographs and memorabilia.
What can help? An open and honest discussion within the family on the options available is the first place to start. You may wish to point out that down-sizing can be beneficial by losing a life-time of clutter and easing the physical and financial burden of maintaining a large property. The best possible situation is to ensure that the decisions about their lives are being made by the seniors themselves. At all times, it is prudent and respectful to allow as much independence as possible. You can provide an optimistic perspective on what can be a new adventure in their lives and ensure them that they are not losing family and friends as well as home.