The family home is something many people cherish; chances are it contains for them a lifetime of memories. But when the kids have grown up and moved out, the extra space doesn’t seem as necessary. As a person ages, maintaining a yard or shoveling out after a snowstorm doesn’t have the charm it once did. For these reasons and more, many seniors consider downsizing from their houses and moving into apartments for seniors.
While the transition may initially be difficult, it can be a lot of fun to move somewhere new. Downsizing from a home to an apartment can also make good financial sense; imagine being able to use the equity from selling your home not only for affordable senior housing, but to fund something practical like healthcare costs or fun like a leisure trip. If you’re thinking about downsizing, here are some ways to zero in on the features and amenities you need at this stage in your life.
Location! Location! Location!
A good place to start your new senior housing search is by location. If driving is no longer an option, try to find senior living apartments accessible to public transportation. Depending on your health, it may be easier on you if you’re close to your doctor’s office or pharmacist. Also, be sure you’re not too far from life necessities like grocery stores and banks.
If you can, consider your personal interests. For instance, if you have a favorite park, volunteer commitments, or a church you attens, look for housing nearby.
In terms of ensuring safety for the elderly, apartments should be previewed at different times of day and if necessary look for security cameras and guards. You definitely don’t want to be in a vulnerable position in your new location and want to feel comfortable in your new residence.
Who Are the People In Your Neighborhood?
Another important consideration is the kind of neighbors you’d like to be around. Being in an apartment complex with lots of young families may be off putting at this stage in your life. In that case senior living communities may be your best option, where minimum age for residents can start at age 50 or some at an even more mature 62+, if you prefer. Complexes like these are made specifically with seniors in mind.
Some may offer amenities like on-site computer facilities, assistance helping you use technology to stay in touch with relatives or even elder-friendly gyms. When visiting senior living apartments don’t be afraid to ask around to find what tenants really think about the building. Chances are they’ll have valuable insights to share with you.
Living Space and Amenities
Also, carefully consider your actual living space to be sure the layout meets your needs. Get the “have to haves” on your list like in-home laundry, dishwashers, garbage disposals, etc. Don’t forget however the things that could make your independent living easier down the road such as accessible countertops/cabinets, easy elevator access or grab bars in the shower and bathrooms.
Moving may not always be the easiest transition, saying goodbye to a home can be very emotional and finding the right apartment does takes time. Still, with a little luck, new friends and memories can be just on the horizon.