As we discussed last week, there is a reluctance for boomers to address the many concerns that affect them in terms of aging. They live healthy lifestyles and the thought of being limited or unable to take care of themselves is such a far-off possibility that it isn’t worth considering. However, for many of the big aging concerns, how you handle it now will have dramatic repercussions in the future. Once of the biggest decision being that of housing.
Housing is always a stressful subject. Whether you’re buying or selling or just talking about the overall market, it always seems like it’s wrought with bad news. And when put in the context of appropriate housing for aging, the topic becomes even more unpleasant to discuss. The idea is that as we get older, it can be more difficult for us to live in and maintain larger houses. Going up and down the stairs, dealing with general upkeep, living in inaccessible areas – these reasons and more are important points to consider. However, it is not as simple as saying, “Well, it will be easier to live somewhere else so that’s what I’ll do”. This is a decision that, in many cases, means people will have to make significant sacrifices. They will have to give up their home, likely downsize to a smaller home, and in many cases, it can feel as though they are surrendering some of their independence.
These are all valid feelings to have. Getting older means you lose some things. There’s no way around the ugliness of it. You can not always live the same life you have lived comfortably before, and admitting that can be a hard step to take. However, putting off important decisions like this because they are difficult it certainly not the best way to handle the problem. Preparing for such things is not only smart, but it allows you to age comfortably while maintaining as much of your regular life as you can. It is not meant to reduce your lifestyle, quite the opposite in fact. It is meant to enable you to continue doing what you love by taking steps to avoid age becoming a roadblock.
“Number one, you need to have a home where you are safe where you are safe and in control of your own destiny. Number two, you have to have friends and perhaps family nearby as you get older. Number three, you need to have supports from your community – transportation would be top of the list – that give you stability in your home.”
Does that fit with your home situation? If not, how long before you make the necessary changes to ensure you are living in a house in which you can age comfortably? We don’t feel we’re getting “old”, that’s just how our psychology works. Therefore, we don’t always make the logical decisions in regard to our age. But while we are young and able to make a difference in how we age, it’s important that we put being comfortable later in life above the admittedly upsetting feelings of acknowledging that things need to change.