Tag Archives: Downsizing

A Mobility-Friendly Home Offers Independence and Freedom

Senior enjoying her mobility-friendly home

5 Benefits of Downsizing To A Mobility-Friendly Home.

All of us are at risk of disability at some point in our lifetime, especially once we reach our golden years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every five adults in America have a disability, and 13% of adults have mobility problems which make walking or climbing stairs an everyday challenge. For people with disabilities, it’s crucial to live in an environment which will encourage mobility, and downsizing to a mobility-friendly home can make a lot of difference to an older person who values his or her independence.

Why it makes sense to downsize to a mobility-friendly home

A majority of older adults are concerned about preserving their independence and freedom. A study has found that 78% of adults age 65 and older intend to age in their current residence. But staying in a condominium unit or a home with lots of stairs, narrow doorways and passageways and other hazards may present lots of dangers to retirees or seniors with mobility issues. Living in such a home can present the risk of falling, and a serious fall-related injury can lead to disability or even death. Homes that aren’t designed for aging in place can also prevent seniors from doing typical everyday activities on their own. Moreover, all the features of a mobility-friendly home will ensure that retirees get to live in utter comfort as they enjoy their golden years. Here are 5 benefits of downsizing to a mobility-friendly home. Continue reading

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Avoid the Wardrobe Malfunction

Using a wardrobe consultant

Top Tips for Stylish Seniors.

For some seniors and boomers, retirement is all about the ability to do whatever you want, whenever you want, while wearing whatever you want. After years of conforming to the working world – with its stuffy suits and starchy business attire – it can be a welcome relief to pull on a pair of old sweatpants and just hang out.

While it’s true that if you’re just hanging out and relaxing, it doesn’t really matter what you wear, there may be times when you need to wear something a little more formal than your favorite pair of golf shorts. There also may be times when – especially during the downsizing process – that you need to eliminate unneeded or infrequently used items to make room for belongings you will need to take with you to your new home.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Wardrobe Pro

In these and other occasions, a wardrobe consultant can be an invaluable asset. Wardrobe consultants assist their clients with a variety of issues relating to fashion. They can provide clients with suggestions to enhance their appearances and their wardrobes for special events or occasions, or assist clients in improving or downsizing their daily wardrobes. Continue reading

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Relocating or Downsizing to Another State?

Relocating to a new home

Top Tips to Make Sure the Move is Stress-Free.

Downsizing for any reason can be a taxing endeavor. There are a number of steps in the process that, if not completed in the right order, can end up causing more stress than necessary. In fact, knowing which steps to take and in which order is one of the informational sessions we present at each one of our Upside of Downsizing conferences.

Sometimes downsizing involves moving, and not just from one residence to another, or from one town to another in your home state. It can involve relocating to an entirely new state, which adds another column of items to your “to do” list. Continue reading

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Faded Memories

Seniors dealing with Alzheimer's

How to Downsize with Alzheimer’s in the Mix.

We have said it before, and you will likely hear us say it many more times: downsizing is taxing on the body, mind and spirit. More than just the physical aspects of sorting, donating, discarding and packing, downsizing takes an emotional toll on everyone involved in the process.

The emotional stress of downsizing can be triggered by memories of the items you are sorting, attachment to a home where you may have raised a family and made many memories, and the echoes in the back of your mind whispering that change can be scary, even if you are otherwise looking forward to the next stage in your life.

All the emotions associated with the downsizing process can be complicated further if one of the seniors involved is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Persons with Alzheimer’s disease may already feel anxious or agitated, which can worsen if they are taken from a familiar environment and placed in a new one. So, when downsizing in this kind of situation, there are certain tips and tools that can make the transition smoother for not only the person with Alzheimer’s, but also for others who are involved in the process. Continue reading

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There is No Need to Manage the Maze Alone

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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One Wedding and A Funeral

Different emotions - downsizing revelation

An Eye-Opening Revelation on Downsizing.

Since 2011, Upside of Downsizing has been helping boomers and seniors gain freedom by downsizing. We have provided helpful ideas and insight about how to make the transition to a healthier and more manageable living environment both smooth and successful.

We impress upon the guests at our conferences the importance of taking the right steps from start to finish and receiving the necessary assistance from reputable professionals to successfully walk them through the process.  Those who have attended our conferences know that Jerry and I also have been through the downsizing process since we started the Upside of Downsizing.

Although we’ve been through the process ourselves, it wasn’t until a recent cross-country trip – perpetuated by the desire to attend a family wedding and ending with a change in plans and return route to attend a family funeral in Colorado – that we experienced an extreme version of the downsizing process. The experience was a real eye-opener for both of us in more ways than one. Continue reading

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Change in Seasons Presents Challenges to Aging in Place

Senior dealing with home maintenance

The Harsh Truth About Seasonal Maintenance and Repairs.

September 22nd brought with it the official end to the summer of 2016. Before we know it, the ground will be covered with falling leaves and the air will be filled with the smells of autumn.

According to YouGov.com, fall is the favorite season for most Americans, ranking slightly higher than summer by those included in the poll. The weather is just right – not too hot, not too cold. In some parts of the country, the changing fall foliage is mesmerizing, with trees bursting into shades of red, orange and yellow.

While fall is full of beauty and wonder, it also can be an incredibly stressful time for seniors and boomers struggling to keep up with the demands of home ownership. Fall is the time of year when seasonal home repairs and routine maintenance are the most demanding in some parts of the country. For some, the demands are not only a drain on the monthly budget, but also can have a negative effect on one’s physical health and well being. Continue reading

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Downsize Without Family Discord

Avoid family discord while working on a project

How to Stop Conflict Before it Starts.

Downsizing a home can be a very stressful event for seniors and boomers, especially if the process must be undertaken due to an illness or injury. There is the emotional aspect of leaving behind a home where a life had been built. There also are the financial and physical aspects of downsizing, which involve selling an existing home to pay for the move and getting everything packed up and ready to go.

If a home requires any repairs or improvements to ready it for the market, it can be an added step that is likely to cause family discord if not handled properly. It can be expensive to hire contractors to complete work if friends or family members are able to do it. Continue reading

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When Downsizing, One Size Does Not Fit All

Man pleased with downsizing to a motorhome

Put Your Downsizing Dream on Wheels.

There is little doubt that downsizing from a large home to an apartment or senior living community can be a challenge, especially when it comes to reducing the amount of belongings we own in order to successfully make the move. For some people, the bigger the home, the more items they have to recycle, donate or discard as part of the process.

It can be even more challenging to downsize when the choice being made for your future living quarters is even smaller than the typical senior apartment. But for some people, the dream of selling most of what they own and moving into a recreational vehicle (RV) is part of the downsizing process.

While it’s not a traditional choice when downsizing, the most recent U.S. Census estimates place the number of U.S. residents living full-time in an RV at 1 million. A total of 8 million Americans reported owning an RV. Continue reading

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Adult Children Play Key Role in Downsizing Process

woman talking with aging parent

How to Help An Aging Parent Make the Decision to Downsize

Chances are, we all know an aging friend or relative who currently is living in their own home who probably would benefit from making the decision to move to a senior living community or other assisted living environment.

Identifying someone in this situation, and convincing them that they need to make a change, are two very different things. Oftentimes, adult children of aging boomers and seniors are placed in this situation and have a difficult time figuring out how to have this conversation with their parents. Continue reading

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Letting go of Family Traditions

Senior couple preparing family tradions meal in kitchen

Trade in Family Traditions for Less Stress

Take a minute, close your eyes and picture one of your favorite family traditions. Maybe it’s sharing Thanksgiving dinner at mom’s house with the extended family. Maybe it’s that extraordinary holiday party your grandma throws each year. How about the family reunion an aunt organizes and hosts every year?

We all have our favorite family traditions, most of which involve large gatherings with family members that include food and fun.

As we age, these family traditions can be both enjoyable and stressful. While we relish the opportunity to reminisce with friends and family, share a meal or attend a social event, if we are the ones who are hosting the event or in charge of organizing it, that task can become more difficult as we get older. Continue reading

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What To Do When Maintaining Your Home Becomes Overwhelming

Senior woman sitting with her daughter - no home maintenance

Running a household is demanding. Even if you don’t have grandchildren, pets, or a spouse to clean up after, simply maintaining the organization and cleanliness of a home can be difficult. Even the most organized home can become challenging to maintain without consistent upkeep, and as you grow older, the physical tasks of home maintenance can become overwhelming. It may be too difficult to mow the lawn, for instance, or give your home a thorough cleaning like you used to due to mobility challenges.  Here’s what to do when maintaining your home simply becomes too overwhelming. Continue reading

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