Approaching Senior Housing: Discovery, and …Wading?

Aug 2, 2022 | Senior Housing

Aging woman thinking

 

In our lives, when have we ever found ourselves in evaluation of what we need? When were those times, times that preceded decisions? When were those times that gave us pause, during which we took stock, evaluated, and considered our options? Maybe what we wanted (think childhood, “I want ) and later, as an adult what would be good for us, practical, or what would be a fit?

Sorting, Old And New

Maybe what we could afford. As a kid, one of my evaluations was as simple as “How would I spend my hard-earned allowance?”. Or maybe a $5 windfall, a present from a distant aunt.

As an adult, I’m sure we’ve all evaluated Big Ticket items. A car, or tuition, or vacation. Something that would take a substantial chunk of our budget. One such Big Ticket item is where we are going to live.

Can I afford it, is it right for my lifestyle, close to my job, house of worship, BFFs, or relatives, whatever?

At this stage in our lives, when we’re wiser because of having “lived and learned” my hunch is we’d be better at all this evaluating relative to housing. Just as we may have gone from a child wondering what bed or room we’d get, to what side of a dorm room we get or choose,  or which apartment was “cool”. We moved on in adulthood to housing decisions. The decisions were just made differently and had different factors to consider.

As we age we may revisit our own housing. We “sort” differently but it is still the same – a housing decision with all our unique factors. We are still dealing with our wants and needs.

Some of us may find ourselves in medical situations where we have to quickly revisit this but whatever the motivation we are quite likely better at it. I think the questions may change and the good news is that now we can better entertain them and get closer to a good answer, for us.

Many of us have not moved in quite some time. We are settled. I know for me > I was just going to move into where I live for a short time, and 16.5 years went by! Plenty of folks I work with have been in their places 30+ years, or “we raised 3 kids here” and sometimes described as “It’s a lot to clean, or heat”  and “Hoo-wee, I gotta lotta STUFF!”.

Some will comment that the future is uncertain. They don’t know how things will go. Those “things” are the same things that anyone might deal with, some with a murky view, but don’t let the unknowns spook you.

Those unknowns. It could be that we’re just more wary of the unknowns. And any wariness comes from wisdom, too. We’re protecting ourselves, and isn’t THAT good? We need to regard it as that: Wariness comes from Wisdom. It’s an advantage, not a reason to shrink back.

We can look at ourselves and figure out if we’re in the right fit now, where we currently are, or how staying put but shoring up a few things might be the ticket.

 Or perhaps we come to acknowledge that where we are is simply not a sustainable place or the right place for us in the future, and we need to look elsewhere. It’s a clean slate but seems such a big slate.

However, we have been here before, right? And IMHO, I might offer that we have the benefit of wisdom and life. Advantages. 

Perhaps in our twenties, we didn’t care, were foolhardy, or carefree. Maybe we didn’t know what we know now! My mother told a story of her new husband renting an apartment on their behalf, and she didn’t find out until she got there that there was no kitchen sink! They washed dishes in the bathtub in their humble abode after WWII while Dad finished up as an undergrad.

Likely in our 30’s, 40’s and 50’s we became more aware of how our housing needs, what served and what suited. Was there other family or a budget weighing in heavily? Had we moved for work or to work in the past, and now that is not such a large factor in decision-making?

We should take a minute and celebrate that this one is all about us. Anybody here feeling smug with me? (Yeah, me, my way…good. About time, even.).

Discovery

Let’s use the opportunity just think and research and revisit. The deciding comes later, so put that aside for right now. This is not a one-shot deal, it is not a one-and-done conversation. There should be several. This housing stuff could require a bit of research and then we apply our wants and needs on top of that to find our fit. This is Discovery!

We can focus on ourselves and budgets and timelines, all.  On our terms, and better now while we have the power, while the decisions are ours. Better now than if we find ourselves caught in a less-than-positive situation and our options are fewer.

It’s likely better if we soundboard or talk it over with someone we trust or have conversations to gain insights among other people who may be in similar situations. That’s much of what we do in my online group, Savvy Solos: we talk about stuff like this. In fact, evaluating ourselves for housing has been a recent topic.

Discovery – Decisions come later

And Discovery (while exciting) is discovery, just that. No decisions, just learn for now. Your preferences will come forward in your own mind and from your own gut; that and solid information will guide your decisions.

I get excited about the idea of making my choices with my factors. I feel that power creeping in and the opportunity to impart another of my favorite sayings: 

“We can all have a say about how things will go and where will end up”. 

Case in point. Enjoy lots of conversations, even better, because that brings surety.

Child wading in the oceanThe whole thing can be much like a child learning to wade, navigating the waves at the beach. Some you hop over, and that becomes fun. Hop, and hop again. You work on your timing and your ability to size up the coming waves. Some seem harmless, so little that you decide to just let them come to you and enjoy watching and feeling them circle around you. 

A few waves we may run from (and we’ve become wise enough to know to!) but we remain in there, wading. Wading and deciding, hopping and smiling, based upon our wisdom gained. It not only got easier, but it also became fun. After a while, you literally “have your sea legs”. Wading and deciding, based upon the wisdom gained.

Let’s stick a toe in the water with discovery. 

 

 

The topic of housing is big and wide but it is ours to narrow and customize to our wants and needs. It’s a popular and evergreen conversation and one Nancy has with her clients 1:1 as she journeys with them in aging discovery and decisions. Schedule your Complimentary Consultation today or opt for a consulting package of choice. nancyruffner.com 919.628.4428