making the transition
No matter how old you are, moving is one of those good news/bad news events. The optimist looks forward to a “fresh start,” while the pessimist views the experience as “having to start over.” Both are right.
There are many positive reasons to scale down to the easier lifestyle of a formal retirement community: safe, comfortable designs; liberation from difficult household chores; the convenience of lock-it-and-leave-it; recreation, educational and social activities; meal preparation, cleaning, and laundry services; transportation; on-site emergency response and medical care.
One way to handle the downside of a move is to cast the new home in a favorable light. As people age, it is natural for them to feel more vulnerable, so housing designed for safety and access can provide a psychological lift. Proximity to medical, social and support services can be a welcome change. For those who live alone, moving to a community of peers may offer the promise of a new circle of friends.
Making the decision to move is the first, but not necessarily the hardest step. After making the initial decision, seniors need to tackle a number of essential tasks: taking inventory of accumulated possessions, deciding what to keep and what to dispose (and doing it), selling existing residence, planning arrangement of new space, packing up, and moving – out and in. For many seniors who will be downsizing to smaller homes or apartments, a major obstacle is how to deal with a lifetime accumulation of ‘things'.