Downsizing for Seniors: How to Find the Right Home for Your Needs

By Mike Longsdon

Downsizing can be a huge benefit for many seniors; not only can it help in saving money, but it can also keep older adults safe and healthy throughout their golden years. It’s often an option for those who have recently lost a loved one or had a major life change since it’s a good way to move forward and reduce stress and anxiety. It can be a big job, however, especially if you have lived in your home for many years and accumulated lots of belongings. Moving is almost always stressful, so it’s important to find a way to get through this process smoothly and easily.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to make your downsizing experience a comfortable process. Looking for the right home for your needs and taking your future needs into consideration is the most important part, so make a list of all the things you can’t live without. Set a budget, think about hiring professional movers, and ask friends or loved ones to help you go through your belongings so you can decide what to take to the new house.


Read on for some great tips on how to downsize easily.

Choose the Right Home for Your Needs

The right home —  and the right neighborhood — for you will be dependent upon both your current and future safety needs. Think about your mobility, your health, and the ease with which you can navigate your home while maintaining it. For instance, taking care of a large yard can be overwhelming for many seniors, so you’ll want a home that has something small and easy to manage. Falls are a major cause of injury for individuals over the age of 60, so a house that has no stairs, a walk-in shower, and smooth thresholds will be ideal for safety.

Create a Packing Plan

Packing up a home in order to move to a smaller place is a big deal, especially for seniors who have had a major life change. It can be emotionally trying to go through your belongings and choose which ones you want to bring to the new house, and the thought of parting with sentimental items can lead to sadness or even depression. Ask a friend or loved one to help you, and look at photos of the new house if possible to ensure that the larger items will fit. When it comes to the things you love but can’t bring, think about renting a storage unit or passing them along to family members. For items you no longer need, consider donating or selling them.

Remember, too, that when you’re packing up, you’ll need to be careful of your physical health, particularly where your back is concerned. Bending over and lifting heavy boxes several times in a day can wreak havoc on your entire body, so be smart about the process and avoid hunching over or straining. Ask for help often, especially when lifting heavier objects.

Outsource

It can be hard to get through moving day when you’re leaving a home you’ve lived in for many years, but hiring a moving company can help you through the process because it will allow you to come and go without having to stick around when things get emotional. The right movers can help you avoid injury, as well. Do some research on moving companies in your area — including price quotes and reviews — and see when the busiest times of year are for them.

Finding the right home for a downsize can take time, so be sure to allow yourself plenty of it. Start early and be thorough in your search; you want to ensure your new house is just right. With a little planning and some careful thought, you can make the downsizing process an easy one.