Deciding in Advance of the Need!
Occasionally we will see Mom & Dad make their own “where to be” decisions in advance of the actual need to move. This proactive approach is rare, but it shows great insight and provides benefits for the couple and for their family. If you are a Senior reading this, then these words are for you. This is your opportunity to think carefully about where your “best place to be” would be in the coming years.
One of the readers of this newsletter (who is also one of our friends) gave me the idea for this edition today with an email. She and her husband are pondering the “where to be” decision now. This is not an easy decision and it doesn’t have to be made overnight. Sometimes people ponder this decision for a few years – but something in the back of their mind lets them know that a move will someday be necessary.
I have two examples of a “where to be decision” that I want to share with you today. One such decision was made by the Mom of a friend. And one was made by my Mom.
A Friend’s Mom
The Mom of a friend of ours lived in a big two-story house in a small town. This house and the location thereof were great when the kids were growing up. There was plenty of room in the house for their large family and the big yard was a great place for the kids to play.
But now, all the benefits that the house had provided in a former life had changed. The Dad had passed away several years before. the kids had grown and gone and the house was too big for the Mom. She was unsteady on her feet, yet her bedroom was upstairs. The house was big and old with a lot of deferred maintenance. The yard that had been a great place for the kids to play was now way too much for our friends Mom to maintain.
A Long Story Short
Our friend’s Mom sold her home and moved away from her small town where she had spent her life – to an Independent Living Facility in a big city, where she could be near her doctors. Talk about a big move!
One day Cindy & I stopped by for a visit – only to be shocked! This lady had fully acclimated to her new environment in very short order. The day we stopped by for a visit, she was almost too busy to visit. The Independent Living Facility offered several daily activities that kept their residents busy. This lady had new friends, and loved all the things available to do. She also loved the fact that this place served meals that she could enjoy with her friends in a nicely appointed dining area. And it offered maid service. She no longer had to struggle to maintain a big house and big yard – she didn’t even have to clean her small apartment. It was all done for her.
An Independent Living Facility may not always be a great fit – but it was an absolute home run our friend’s Mom!
The above situation closely describes my Mom’s situation. I got a call one day from Mom after my Dad died. I already had graduated college, gotten married and was practicing law. She had sold our family home and had bought a smaller home in town. I took the news with much surprise. We are talking about our family home – the only home I had ever known! I grew up there. And she had sold it! What!!
After the reality soaked in, I realized that Mom had made a heroic decision of where to be. This was (no doubt) a tough decision that she had made by herself late in life. After all, this was her home – I was the one who had moved! Yes, this home was full of a lot of memories. But it was too big, had a large yard and needed to be owned by a family with young children – not a 70+ year old widow who lived there alone.
Mom also knew that neither my brother or I would ever come back there to live and that this home would have been difficult for us to sell. It would have sat there as an empty “shrine” after Mom’s death.
Nipped It In The Bud
So she nipped all of this in the bud and just sold it first – then told us about it later! Like I say – a brave and heroic act! But it didn’t stop there. A few years later, Mom sold her smaller home in her hometown, and bought a condo in a bigger town where she could be close to her doctors. I really miss Mom!
So what’s your story? Do you have a place that you need to sell? Should you downsize and get into a smaller place that’s easier to navigate? Do you need to be closer to your doctors or medical facilities? Or closer to shopping and restaurants? Or maybe closer to the beach!
Whatever the situation, it’s time to take a hard look at the situation and to determine whether the place you are in is now serving your interests. If so, the good news is that you are already there – no move necessary! If not and if you have read this far – then you are able to make (or direct) the change. Best wishes on your “where to be” decision.
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