We hope you are doing well.
We’ve been talking to Mikol’s Mom, Alice a lot lately about her house. Now that she’s 91, she’s considering that a large sprawling house is just too much. Sometimes, an elder stays on in the family home until the end. Then the family has to clear the place out, while sad and overwhelmed. Deciding what to keep and what to toss or give away can be agonizing. No matter when you do it, it’s a chore nobody wants.
In our case, we have been saved a huge burden by my mother in law, Alice. She’s taking on the task herself, at 91!
She has done us a gigantic favor by making a decision about the house. She is going to sell it and move to something smaller, and rent. She’s already packing.
Alice is doing really well, living independently, still driving during the daytime, and participating in life. She takes very good care of herself. She has been widowed for over 5 years now.
She’s doesn’t want assisted living, or even an apartment in an independent living situation. She considered those options and rejected them. The places she saw were too small, or not in her own retirement community where she has lived for many years. She thought she would have to give up too much if she moved from the gated, all seniors neighborhood where she has been for some time. She would lose her connection to all the social activities she enjoys there. They don’t let “outsiders” participate.
Besides, her frequent workouts are walking up and down in the lovely, Olympic sized pool and she really needs that.
So, she took a friend’s suggestion and found a great little house to rent. No more homeowner’s dues, or worrying about what happens if something breaks. No more responsibility of home ownership. It’s the landlord’s problem now. The size of the rental home is more manageable for a single person and she will be only a short distance from her old home, so she knows where everything in the community is already.
We’re impressed by her ability to manage this enormous task. She has help from the moving company with packing. She is right on top of changing her utilities to the new address, getting her mail forwarded, and all the details of a move that might baffle anyone, much less someone over 90. We are not only amazed, we’re very grateful.
She is cleaning out every closet, giving away unneeded items, selling some furniture, and choosing what she really wants to keep. She is saving us from doing all of it. We’re glad she is making her own choices about everything. Mikol and his sister will be there on moving day to help unpack and get her set up. The moving company helps with unpacking as well.
There are some sad parts to this move, as all of her memories of being with Dad, to whom she was married for 62 years are still there. She is bravely coping with this, and taking her time to get through it. Transitions are seldom easy. This one is done in a well thought out way that will likely be excellent for Alice as long as she can remain independent. As her health is good and she really works at keeping it that way, her doctor says she could live to be 100. So this may not be a short term proposition!
We’re cheering for Alice. The model of smart downsizing she provides might be something other elders would consider too. She is leading the way to make things better not only for herself but for her family as well. Here at AgingParents.com, we now have a recommendation for independent elderly parents who don’t want assisted living or apartment living, but are ready to give up the too-big house. Downsize. Consider renting a smaller place and make your own decisions. It makes a lot of sense to us.
Until next time,