“Should I stay, or should I go?”
Without a doubt, this is a favorite topic with both clients and friends who are questioning the meaning of “what’s next” in their lives. Whether seen as daunting or exciting, the path on this new adventure can definitely be broken down into bite-size pieces for consideration.
Use these points to help clarify your future-planning conversation:
Start broad…Don’t get stuck in the details!
This is a wonderful opportunity to daydream about ‘what’s next’ – what environment would make you feel safe, energized and capable of living your next best chapter? Consider ‘where’, ‘what’ but stay out of the ‘how’… anything is possible at this point! If you have a spouse or partner both of you need to create separate visions … compare them and, once you are done and, see where you are alike (or not). This is a great exercise for communication around next steps.
Gradually add specifics…Make a list of Needs versus Wants (there are no wrong answers!)
- Do you want to stay in your current home? Why?
- If so, what kind of adjustments need to be made to accomplish that? A main level master suite? Easy access to all floors via elevator? Wider hallways? Flush thresholds and ease of flow from room to room? Easier access into your home?
- If you are ready to downsize and move to a different area or accommodation, what does that new home look/feel like? How will it support you better than your current home?
- Consider your current health situation. Future planning isn’t just about wheelchair ramps and grab bars. Community support services are evolving and expanding.
- Do you want a smaller place, perhaps, that will give you more freedom to travel and the opportunity to return to ‘base camp’ when you get tired of roaming?
Ask for input…But only after you are somewhat clear about what YOU want!
- Do you have friends/extended family in the area, who will support you as you move forward?
- What does fun and ease of living look like to you and them?
- Is there a possibility of combining households now or in the future?
Everyone’s adventure looks different and needs to speak to them. If you are married or have extended family in the area, it’s good to make sure that everyone is onboard with the next chapter.
Here are a few interesting sites to get you started:
About the Author:
Mindy Mitchell, Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) joined the Sun Design team over ten years ago. CAPS recognizes the technical, business management, and customer service skills essential for home modifications for aging in place. According to Mindy, “Aging in Place reflects the notion of multi-generational living. Many accommodations needed for the aging population are the same for younger people such as wider hallways to fit strollers just as easily as wheelchairs.”
Mindy explains, “Sun Design fulfills my ideal work wish list: charitable, fun, creative and energetic. An ever-evolving, integrity-driven adventure! There’s nothing better than helping clients realize their visions!”
In addition to being an avid international traveler, Mindy enjoys writing, volunteering, and holistic health practices.