Is your world feeling cramped? Do you long to travel but have a laundry list of chores to upkeep your house? Has your house become a risk to your physical health? There are many triggers that could cause you to Rightsize but let’s not wait for a life crisis to make a change! Prepare yourself ahead of time to figure out if it’s the right time for you to Rightsize.
Like other life events, Rightsizing has become an accepted rite of passage for senior adults and more people, just like you, are shedding their stressors to seek a better quality of life. Rightsizing might be the best solution for you and to help you figure that out, we’ve compiled a few important questions for your consideration.
Does your current home meet your physical needs?
Before my grandmother passed last year, she lived in a two-story home in the suburbs with her laundry room in the basement, down a flight of cramped stairs. Because she could not get around without a walker, the location made it impossible for her to do laundry herself, taking that self-dependence she so fiercely protected. She relied on my father to clean her clothes for her. Among other issues, this became a huge stressor for both of them. If only my grandmother had considered Rightsizing, she might have had a better quality of life in her last years.
When you are thinking about Rightsizing, consider your current home’s layout.
Can you reach the toilet with little effort?
If you’re shuffling across the house to reach the toilet in an urgent situation, your bathroom is too far away. Most seniors have bathrooms within 3-5 feet of their bedrooms.
Do you have safety features in your bathroom?
Studies have shown 80% of injuries in the home occur in the bathroom. The fall-related injuries are anything from a minor bruise to a head or spinal cord injury (1). You can install safety features into your bathroom such as grab bars, non-slip mats and raised toilet seats, but it’s also recommended to clean your bathroom regularly to prevent slippery tiles or bathtubs. Unfortunately, the hassle of cleaning can be too stressful for many seniors.
Are your hallways spacious enough if you need to use a walker in the future?
Seven million older adults use canes, crutches, walkers, and wheelchairs, yet most hallways and doorways are not wide enough for a walker to get through. Experts recommend a walkway of five feet wide but the cost of widening a doorway, even just a few inches, can range to $2500 (3). If you, or a loved one, needed to use a walker, can you comfortably turn around in your hallway?
Can you easily reach your front door?
Open layouts and ranch-style houses have become increasingly popular in the last few years because of the ease of access to each area of the house. Ask yourself a few of these questions; How many rugs could you trip over on the way? Can you view your front door from your preferred comfort space? How far do you need to walk to reach your door? My grandmother suffered from congenital heart failure, which made the effort of walking more than a few feet to answer the door such a hassle. She regularly left her door unlocked. This was an alarming safety risk to her and her home. If you’re suffering from similar health issues, this might be the right time to consider rightsizing for you.
Are you stressed out and overwhelmed by the upkeep of your home?
How often do you mow your lawn or tend to the garden? When’s the last time you cleaned each room in your house? Many seniors who are perfect for rightsizing end up gravitating to one room within their home when upkeep becomes too overwhelming. In fact, older adults spend 20-30 hours a week on upkeep when they could enjoy their golden years of retirement traveling, relaxing, and enjoying their hobbies.
Rightsizing could be a huge benefit for your future quality of life. We hope you use these important questions to decide if now’s the right time for you to Rightsize your life!
Another way to keep the stress low while rightsizing is hiring Caring Transitions to help! We are experts in rightsizing, estate sales and auctions, and more. Learn about our services.