When Size Matters

Senior living community

Tips for Choosing a Senior Living Community.

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, retirement is defined as the act of withdrawing, going away, retreating.

When it comes to the modern definition of retirement – that glorious age where we can shed the 9 to 5 work responsibilities and live our lives to the fullest – some of those words in the traditional definition may apply.

Many seniors and boomers, who have been gainfully employed their entire lives, withdraw from the workforce to spend more time with their families, hobbies and other activities. Some choose to “go away” on trips they’ve always wanted to take, but never had the time to enjoy while working and raising a family. And many retirees “retreat” to senior living communities, where they can engage socially with others their age and get assistance, as needed, as they age.

Retirement communities can be a fabulous experience for seniors and boomers. In previous blogs, we’ve explored the benefits of choosing to downsize and move into a retirement community. To recap, the benefits of choosing a retirement community are numerous: save money on living expenses; save time on household chores; opportunity for social interaction and group social activities; on-site skilled care if needed. Continue reading

Spring Into an Exciting Adventure

Senior couple enjoying outdoor activities

Top 5 Fun Activities for Seniors.

Now that the weather is warmer and Spring is in full bloom, the opportunity is ripe for seniors and boomers to brush off the doldrums of the long winter months and engage in some seasonal activities.

For many seniors and boomers, Springtime is a favorite season. There is nothing quite like the smell of fresh, spring air and the warmth of the sun to lighten the spirits. Seniors who may find it difficult to navigate through the harsh conditions associated with the winter months once again will be able to get outside, socialize and enjoy nature.

Springtime also inspires many seniors to become healthier and more active again, and the weather is more amiable to helping them achieve these goals in the spring than the winter.

The following top 10 fun activities can be enjoyed by all seniors and boomers, whether living in a senior retirement community, an assisted living community or with a family member or caregiver

#1 – Enjoy Nature

Springtime is unique in that many things are blooming. The feeling of life being renewed – of seeing the offspring of animals and trees and plants budding with new life – is a fantastic way to boost the spirits. Seniors who live in a retirement community may have convenient access to a walking trail or other outdoor area right on campus. Continue reading

There is no Need to Manage the Maze Alone

satisfied senior after using a placement agency

Top Tips for using Placement Agencies.

In August 2015, we blogged about care managers and their role in assisting seniors and boomers as they navigate through the maze of downsizing options. Care managers, who also are referred to as case managers and are coordinators, are professionals who specialize in providing a number of services related to the downsizing process.

Care managers can be extremely helpful; however, their services are not free. Sometimes, Medicaid or Medicare will pay for a case manager’s services, but most often, they do not. It is more likely that the client will pay out of pocket for the services, which can range in cost. Some care managers charge a flat fee for their services, while others charge an hourly rate.

Another option for seniors and boomers who need assistance is a placement agency.

Knowing When to Downsize

Before we discuss the details of what a placement agency is and how to select a reputable one to work with, a quick refresher on knowing when to downsize is in order. Continue reading

Counseling 101

Senior couple receiving counseling

Know who to Call When You’re in Need.

The idea of downsizing can be overwhelming for some seniors and boomers. Just thinking about the process can cause anxiety and sometimes depression. Sorting, categorizing and compartmentalizing a lifetime worth of belongings is a challenging endeavor. While some find it physically draining, others may find it emotionally taxing as well.

It is why at all of our Upside of Downsizing conferences, we provide access to, and information about, the kinds of professionals who can help assist seniors and boomers through every step of the downsizing process. This includes mental health professionals and care managers who can help downsizers cope with the emotional side of things.

Whether support is in the form of therapy, medication or assistance navigating the many senior living options available when downsizing, it’s important to make sure you are seeking assistance from the right professional. Let’s discuss the kinds of professionals available and the specialties for each to help narrow down the right person for the job. Continue reading

Decorate to Reflect Style, Passion

Decorated living room with beauty and style

Top Tips for a Happier Home.

American businesswoman Iris Apfel viewed personal style as a way to create intrigue, once stating “great personal style is an extreme curiosity about yourself.”

Style goes beyond the clothes we wear and the hairstyles we choose. Personal style also is reflected in the way in which we choose to decorate our homes, whether we live in 2,500 square-foot house or a one-bedroom high-rise apartment.

The last couple of weeks, we’ve talked about the downsizing process in regards to planning for the move, including tips for self-movers and those who planned to hired professionals to assist. This week, we’re going to explore the idea of decorating your space to reflect your style and your passion. We’ll include ideas from choosing your colors to the placement of furniture and other accessories. Continue reading

Healthy Hearing Can Balance Your Life

Senior having hearing and balance checked.

Understanding the connection between hearing and balance.

De-cluttering and downsizing a home can be a dizzying process.  The overwhelming stress can even throw us off-balance.  However, if you are reorganizing and notice you are clumsier than usual; your body could be signaling something more.

Our balance system, also known as the vestibular system, helps us stay upright and allows us to move without falling. Our balance and equilibrium are controlled through signals from the eyes, inner ear and sensory systems to the brain.

Research by Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging revealed that hearing loss can alter our balance and increase the likelihood of falls.   Hurting yourself in a fall can prevent you from simplifying your life.  Before tackling any laborious projects, especially those on a ladder, make sure you are protected.   Here are a few ways you can reduce the risk. Continue reading

Don’t Live out of Boxes!

Seniors unpacking after a move

Practical Tips for Unpacking Your New Space.

For the last couple of weeks, we have been discussing the best ways to pack up your belongings and get them to their new destination after making the decision to downsize. This week, we want to provide some practical tips for unpacking the moving van and organizing your new space so you aren’t living out of boxes for months.

While it is true that the decluttering and packing up of the belongings that will be making the move with you is a difficult and time-consuming process, unpacking and arranging your new space can be just as challenging without a little forethought.

Unpacking Rule #1 – Visualize and Assign a Purpose to the Space

Before moving day, visit your new home and make a list of every room and space in it. Don’t forget to include rooms like the bathroom, hallways, the basement and all storage areas (closets, pantries). After you record each space in your new home, write the purpose for each of those spaces next to it on the list. If you are moving into a studio-style apartment, this process is going to look a bit different. Instead of assigning a purpose to each room, assign a purpose to each area of the studio. Continue reading

Don’t Get Dragged Down by Moving Day!

Two movers

Top 5 Tips for Self Movers.

In our blog last week, we discussed strategies for moving day – one of the key parts of the downsizing process. When executed poorly, moving can cause unnecessary and unwanted stress for seniors and boomers.

It can be difficult enough if using professional movers and move managers to assist during this phase of downsizing; but for those who choose to be self movers, there are added challenges if a solid plan is not in place. We are not big fans of trying to move yourself for many reasons, but we do realize that for some seniors and boomers, budgetary constraints may make moving themselves necessary.

If your moving budget is limited, or you simply feel confident in your own ability to get your things moved to your new retirement destination on your own, we’ll discuss the top five ways to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Tip #1 – Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More

Would you leave for a weeklong vacation in some far-off tropical paradise without planning in advance? The answer is most likely no, especially if you want to have plane tickets and hotels in which to stay when you arrive. Moving day should be no different, especially when doing the work yourself. Continue reading

Moving Day 101

Professional a moving company

Three Steps for Surviving the Moving Process.

Over the years, while interacting with attendees at our Upside of Downsizing conferences, we have been told that the process of de-cluttering and organizing a home can be the most stressful and time-consuming part of downsizing.  Sorting, donating and eliminating a lifetime worth of possessions can be overwhelming for individuals downsizing for the first time. It is why the Eight-Step Checklist we created at the Upside of Downsizing is so important to follow.

Once the de-cluttering phase is over, and individuals have placed their homes on the market and identified where they will be moving, the home stretch of downsizing is finally in sight. Moving day is next on the agenda, and we have some tips to help make moving day a success.

Step #1 – Hire a Professional

Seniors who are on a budget may be concerned that hiring professionals to help in the downsizing process will be a budget buster for them. But failing to get the help of a professional when it is warranted can end up costing downsizers a lot more money in the long run. Continue reading

Maximize Your Home-Selling Profits

Benefits of a home stager

Top Reasons to Hire a Professional Home Stager.

One of the most important steps in downsizing for seniors and boomers is the ability to sell their existing property – at the highest profit possible – to help fund their retirement years.

While most homeowners know it’s important to declutter their home and keep it clean during its time on the market, some may not realize the benefits of another home-selling strategy: home staging.

Home staging is the process of preparing a home for sale in the real estate marketplace with the goal of making it appealing to the highest number of potential buyers. Home staging can involve everything from arranging furniture and belongings in a specific way to enhancing curb appeal to attract the attention of potential buyers.

According to the National Association of Realtors®, 49 percent of realtors surveyed said they believe home staging has a positive effect on a buyer’s view of a property. Of those Realtors® strictly representing buyers, 81 percent said home staging helped their clients to visualize the property as a future home.

There are other reasons to stage your home during the selling process. Let’s discuss a few of the highlights. Continue reading