How Downsizing Can Improve Quality of Life
Home can be a wonderful place. We may feel sentimental about the memories created there or simply enjoy relaxing in our own space. Yet, a living space isn’t home just because we’re accustomed to it. A home needs to feel welcoming, and it needs to meet our needs.
Downsizing can sometimes rejuvenate our impression of home by giving us the correct space. Whether it’s an independent living or assisted living home, senior living can remove the obstacles that make a home feel unsafe or exhausting. It can also alleviate caregiver burnout for loved ones helping maintain the too-large home.
If the signs point to a change, it might be the right time to downsize your home.
Signs Your House Isn’t a Home
Your home should feel like home. Suppose your housing situation is a burden or interfering with completing your daily routine. In that case, it’s a sign you need to reevaluate. One essential assessment of care is how an individual copes with activities of daily living (ADL). Downsizing can sometimes make it easier to call your abode home.
Activities of daily living have 2 categories, the 6 essentials (basic ADLs) and those requiring critical thinking skills (instrumental ADLs).
Basic ADLs include:
- Ambulating: The ability to move or walk independently.
- Feeding: The ability to feed oneself.
- Dressing: The ability to select clothes and put the clothes on independently.
- Personal hygiene: The ability to maintain hygiene and grooming habits independently.
- Continence: The ability to control bladder and bowel function.
- Toileting: The ability to get to and from the toilet and use it appropriately.
Instrumental ADLs include:
- Managing transportation & shopping
- Meal preparation (& grocery shopping)
- Managing finances
- House cleaning and home maintenance
- Managing communication with others
- Medication management
Your home should support your ability to perform ADLs, not hinder your daily life. For example, if a senior has difficulty with stairs, a house with multiple floors interferes with ambulating. Additionally, if getting to grocery stores, restaurants, hairdressers, or other activities is challenging, the location may be unsuitable for transportation or meal preparation needs.
A house that’s too large can also add other burdens. House cleaning may be too much to complete in a day (or at all) if you have limited energy or physical abilities. In addition, home maintenance may be exhausting or financially stressful. For example, if you don’t have a shower or bath on the main floor (or the floor where you spend most of your day), it may be a chore to maintain personal hygiene.
Downsizing your home is an opportunity to make your space more convenient. No more navigating stairs to get up the bedroom, down to the kitchen, then back up to the main bathroom. Instead, your space can work for your lifestyle needs.
Supporting Quality of Life, Not Upkeep
Many people grow attached to a property, but it isn’t a home if the upkeep takes more than it gives. If your residence is causing stress, whether it’s a financial burden, home maintenance, or social isolation, it’s not worth the cost.
Downsizing can be a helpful budgeting strategy for seniors after retirement. It reduces utility costs, cuts out mortgage costs, and saves on insurance. You can also lower costs by eliminating some upkeep services, such as yard maintenance.
Instead of losing time keeping up with a property, you can invest in your quality of life. Moving into a senior living community is a chance to gain connections. Activities, amenities, recreation, and social outings are close by, and so are neighbors interested in participating.
By downsizing your home, you may also reduce the strain on family members. For example, your downsized home can reduce reliance on family caregivers, such as providing transportation or cleaning services. Additionally, your loved ones can feel secure knowing you’ve moved into a space where you’re safe, relaxed, and connected.
It can be challenging for seniors attached to their homes to let go. And that’s okay! If it’s the right time to downsize, your reasons to go will empower your decision. Creating pros and cons lists can help visual thinkers feel confident about the move.
If you’re downsizing into an assisted living community, take a tour first. Then, check out the activities, classes, or clubs available in your new community and start making connections. Having something to look forward to can help drive away moving blues.
Sometimes moving means decluttering or storing belongings. Make the decisions easier with 3 distinct piles: keep, toss, or donate. Don’t allow any maybes, as that can make decluttering more challenging. Instead, take time to go through memorabilia or objects that bring your joy or are meaningful.
Decluttering is a process, significantly when you’re downsizing. Give yourself time to go through your stuff, and enlist help to make it easier. It may also be a chance to treasure old memories together.
At Home with Silver Comet Village
Seniors might downsize for a quieter space or rejuvenate their social life. Silver Comet Village has options for independent living or assisted living homes. Our community helps residents thrive with access to a full calendar of social, recreational, fitness, and entertainment activities.