Although lifestyle changes can occur at any stage of life, as we age, change can become even more challenging. Nearing the end of our 60 th decade of life, health issues have demanded many changes for both my husband and me. These health problems necessitated changes in both our lifestyle and in our place of residence.
Listed below are the guidelines we used to make our transition as smoothly and successful as possible:
Heed the Warning Signs
According to CDC.gov, 600,000 people die of heart disease each year in the United States. Coronary Artery Disease, heart arrhythmia, shortness of breath and fatigue are early warning signs of more serious problems. Discuss both short-term and long-term plans in advance of permanent disabilities whenever possible.
No One is Exempt from Health Problems
Because my husband was rapidly becoming unable to keep up our yard work, I had taken on more of those chores. That worked well until I also began having health issues in the form of Meniere’s Disease. The sudden and unpredictable bouts of severe vertigo ended my outdoor work as well as much of my normal day-to-day activities.
Consider All the Options Before You Make Changes
Finances play a huge role in our choices. For instance, by choosing to remain in our own home, we could hire the outside work to be done by others. Depending on the age and condition of your existing home, this choice can become more expensive as time passes.
Condominium or apartment complexes are also good options. Bear in mind, however, that many condominiums require upkeep on the inside of the condo and some require maintenance on the outside of the home as well. Take time to tour facilities and study the restrictions and the responsibilities that would be yours.
Sometimes the best choice is to sell your existing home and build an in-law apartment onto the home of a family member. This allows you to be close to family in the event of an emergency, but the downside is it can also be too close for comfort; your own as well as others in the family. City and County regulations can also come into play, causing this option to become a very stressful situation.
Other options might include moving into a senior living facility or an assisted living facility, depending on the extent of health issues and disabilities.
Make a Decision Based on Your Personal Needs and Lifestyle
One size does not fit all when it comes to major life changes. Your personal comfort and safety are first considerations and should not be based on what others think you should or should not do. While it may be wise to listen to the suggestions and ideas of others, in the end, it remains your decision.
After careful considerations, we chose to sell our home and move into an apartment home complex. We are located within easy driving distance to everything we need, including good health care and hospitals. We are also only minutes away from one of our sons, which makes it easy for him to help out as needed. The apartment home is easier for me to clean and all the larger maintenance chores, both inside and outside are provided by the employees of the complex. Our lifestyle is much more relaxed and on good days, we are free to choose activities we both enjoy. We are very satisfied with our choice and have found that the apartment home has exceeded our expectations.