As our business of serving Australian seniors expands, we have the pleasure learning about new perspectives from the interesting people we meet. They often have information we think is important to share with you as we build our resource of senior-focused professionals. Such is the case with Carole Sandberg, who has written today’s article.
In her timely piece, below, Carole speaks from the heart and from personal experience about how she and her husband came to the decision to move into a smaller home. She calls it a choice to “face reality.”
For the Sandburg’s, as for so many seniors, this choice was and is about being willing to talk with loved ones about whether or not your current home is the best place for you as you face the challenges of ageing. Carole and her husband were purposeful in making sure they honestly talked about what they each wanted and needed.
Every day, seniors are coming to the realisation that the family home may be just too big, too hard to maintain, or too far away from services to meet their needs as they age. Having the chance to discuss it openly, and work together to achieve a move into a smaller home, can lead to what Carole calls a “perfect decision.” It’s a chance to have the time to really enjoy that new home and lifestyle together.
The decision to move, especially if that move is from the home where your family’s memories were built, is not an easy one. But neither are the challenges of ageing. Making the choice to face reality now, and look at options before crisis dictates it, can be priceless.
We would not be surprised if many of our readers find the questions Carole raises, below, to be relevant to their lives right now.
“Choose to Face Reality with Courage and Conviction,” by Carole Sandberg, author of “The Gift of Preparation.”
Life, as we all know, is so very precious with each moment unique and special.
At some stage, the majority of us will reach the crossroad where some serious thought and decisions need to be made about our life in all its aspects. Questions to ask yourself could include, “is where I am currently living going to be appropriate for my needs always?” ” Does my/our home have us/you caught in a financial web with all your cash locked into it?” “Would something more manageable with less maintenance make life easier?” ” Do I now or might possibly in the future require different support structures?” If you answer “perhaps not” to the first question and “perhaps yes” to the others, then it’s in your best interest and important to address this issue, as difficult as it might be, and address it sooner rather than later.
There is not much sense in being property rich yet cash flow poor, especially once you’ve retired and so many wonderful doors are now open for you to experience and enjoy.
If you stay where you are, not much will change and in all likelihood, things might become more challenging. If you choose to grab that old tiger by the tail and look at new options, who knows, maybe a new adventure awaits you. Leaving your current home to re-locate, possibly, into a retirement/over 55′s community is a big decision yet, for many, a very smart one.
When we realised we had reached this crossroad, we also had to acknowledge that we simply needed something smaller, easier to look after and how lovely it would be to free up some of our finances so we could go on longer vacations, help the kids more, and open up a whole new variety of options that could be fun experiences.
For us the moving decision was made a little easier because of my husband’s declining health and the awareness of everything around this situation.
What we did that I felt was incredibly empowering happened as follows:
Initially, we sat down and talked, shared our fears, our hopes, desires, wishes about the present and what the future might have to offer – the good, the bad and the ugly.
Then, we asked one another, “if anything is possible, what would you want in a new home, new life?” Separately we listed non-negotiable, and negotiable requirements then looked at each other’s list and were amazed at how much of our needs matched perfectly. These included specific details of our actual future home and environment, together with the interests and activities we would have more time and finances in which to participate.
Once we had clarity about our needs, we then started researching properties available within our parameters. I’m not going to kid you by saying it was all smooth sailing, given emotions were involved, however we found a pot of gold at the end of our rainbow. It’s all about having a positive attitude, accepting that change can be a good thing.
Looking back now, having lived in a retirement community for nearly 7 years, the last three on my own since my husband passed away, I realise we made the perfect decision.
Carole Sandberg is the author of “The Gift Of Preparation,” a book written following the death of her husband and the learning journey that unfolded for her.
“We take so much for granted and the bureaucratic red tape you need to handle at the time of a passing can be quite a nightmare if you are not fully informed.” “The Gift Of Preparation” is a “how to” book for creating peace of mind now whilst you can, thus avoiding unnecessary stress down the track. Filled with practical suggestions and invaluable information this book is for all adults, regardless of age, sex or marital status. At the end of each chapter there is space to fill in all your information then once completed you simply need to put this book in a safe place for use sometime in the future.
Carole can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0412 266 689. More information about her book can be found at www.giftofpreparation.com