Getting older can bring many opportunities, but it also has its challenges.
Ageing looks different for everyone and it can be challenging to determine whether it’s time to shift to a new home that is more manageable or if a bit of help around the house is a better solution. The good news is that there are plenty of signs to look out for that can help determine your best decision.
Is my home still right for me? What are the signs that it’s time to consider moving?
The signs to consider moving to a different home are unique for every person; however, a few signs could indicate that it might be time to make a move.
- Trouble keeping up with your usual home maintenance may be a sign that your home is no longer right for you. If lawn mowing, cleaning, and other general housekeeping duties feel like more of a mammoth task than they once did, this could be a good indicator that it’s time for you to move.
- General fatigue after navigating short distances can be another sign to consider moving to a smaller home that suits your needs better.
- Difficulty negotiating uneven grounds or different levels may also indicate that moving to a more suitable location is the right thing to do, as you may be putting yourself at risk of injury.
Otherwise, you may become apprehensive about living in your family home for reasons including security concerns and a fear of being alone to accessibility or transportation issues.
Could my home be increasing the risk of me having a fall?
Family homes hold many cherished memories that can make it difficult to consider leaving them, but our homes often age better than our bodies do.
Balancing awkwardly to reach for high or low items, bending to access kitchen appliances or storage facilities, or regularly climbing into deep baths or stepped shower areas could increase your chances of suffering an injury.
Older homes with poor lighting, uneven floors or wet areas with lots of tiles, linoleum, pavers or stone flooring can also put you at greater risk of a slip or serious fall. If these scenarios sound familiar, it’s time to reconsider your living arrangements.
Would a renovation help?
Moving into a new home – whether via downsizing into a smaller space, like a villa or unit , or transferring into residential aged care – is not your only option for enjoying a more comfortable day-to-day existence. Renovating your home to make your space work better is always an option.
Should a full scale remodel not appeal to you, consider starting with minor modifications such as installing bathroom handrails, replacing exterior stairs with a ramp, adding a chair lift to internal stairs, or widening door access ways.
It is also worth investigating your care at home options that will allow you to receive assistance with day to day activities but still allow you to remain in your own home.
Forgetfulness also plays a part
Sometimes it’s not just physical ailments that may be troubling you when debating the appropriateness of remaining in your family home.
Losing track of scheduled appointments, forgetting to take medication or to eat, or neglecting to turn a stove or tap off are also causes for concern and strong indicators that you may need to consider moving. Anything that poses a serious risk to your health could be a sign that you’re struggling to take care of yourself properly and may need additional assistance.
How a retirement village could help
Moving to a retirement community is another excellent option for those struggling with their current living conditions.
Retirement villages usually offer various homes, such as villas or apartments, with services or high-needs care options. This means that there is an accommodation option suitable for every older Australian – whatever their care requirements.
While many of us fear being forced to give up our independence when moving into a retirement community, this could not be further from the truth.
Aveo communities are thoughtfully built and some features include villages with onsite call buttons in each villa, apartment or unit, monitored around the clock and coupled with additional security at night.
Where standalone homes can be overwhelming to maintain, in a retirement community, residents not only have a smaller place to clean but can enjoy common areas like gardens, community centres and swimming pools that are fully maintained by staff.
In addition, for those who fear leaving their friends, family and support network behind when moving to a retirement living community, most have active social calendars that provide numerous opportunities to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones.
Consider your future options carefully
Whether you opt for a short term fix by renovating, hiring in home help or a move to a retirement community, the decision is entirely your own.
Before deciding the best way forward for you, it’s important to investigate all your options.