Times Chronicle & Public Spirit

Factors to help you decide if a move is right for you

- By Jennifer Singley Promoting Senior Wellness is provided by The Hickman, a Quakeraffi­liated licensed personal care home in West Chester. Visit www.thehickman. org.

Many seniors find themselves thinking about their future in their home, wondering whether or not it could be time to downsize or move to a retirement community. Consider the following factors when trying to decide if a move might be right for you.

Home maintenanc­e and costs becoming a burden

Perhaps the tasks required to maintain your home have begun to feel overwhelmi­ng. What you used to do with ease, such as mowing the lawn or conducting home repairs, has gotten more difficult physically, financiall­y or both.

Similarly, you might be finding that all the extra space in your home simply costs (and wastes) more money to heat and cool. If the joy you once felt with home ownership has been replaced with stress, it might be time to downsize to a more manageable arrangemen­t that will ease the physical and financial burden that maintainin­g your home has become.

Onset of health issues

Many seniors find that as they age and develop medical and mobility issues, the home they purchased in their younger years no longer meets their needs.

For example, bedrooms on a second floor or laundry in the basement necessitat­e climbing stairs on a daily basis — an activity that becomes increasing­ly difficult, if not impossible, with aging joints or the onset of a disability that requires the use of a wheelchair or walker.

In such a scenario, a move that enables one-floor living might make sense.

Temptation of a seller’s real estate market

With interest rates remaining lower than in years’ past, the current demand for housing is much higher than the inventory of homes available. Perhaps you’ve considered how selling your home and either downsizing or moving to a retirement community might set you up financiall­y to enjoy your later years. Selling of course entails added expenses, such as closing costs and real estate agent commission­s, so diligence is required to ensure you can afford all the necessary transactio­ns involved and that it does in fact make sense from a financial standpoint.

A reminder of loss

For many older adults, home is a place of comfort and memories. Yet for those who have lost loved ones or seen children grow up and leave, home can become a painful reminder of what used to be.

Widows who have shared their space with their spouse or partner for decades might now find it isolating to be at home; empty-nesters might find the quiet of their oncebustli­ng home to be not so much peaceful, but lonely.

Even if no other factors point toward downsizing, your home being a reminder of loss could be enough to lead you to consider moving.

Living a simpler life

Still other seniors find that in their later years, even if physically and financiall­y able to continue their current living arrangemen­t, they desire a simpler way of life.

A smaller home (or moving to a retirement community) translates to fewer material possession­s, fewer bills and fewer responsibi­lities. Downsizing to live simply is appealing as a way in which older adults can focus on enjoying their retirement with less stress and more freedom for traveling and leisure pursuits.

The Hickman offers an inviting option for those seeking to downsize. Located on a tree-lined street in the heart of downtown West Chester, residents enjoy the convenienc­e of home-cooked meals, housekeepi­ng, social programmin­g and 24/7 security as well as easy access to all the borough has to offer, including restaurant­s, shops, theater, parks and walking trails. Give us a call at 484760-6300 to schedule a tour and see how The Hickman is the right place for you.

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