People often ask me how they will know when it's time to start thinking about relocation. How do you know when it's time to downsize or consider a retirement home? For some, it's an easy decision and one based on health, lifestyle or even financial issues. For others, it is less clear. To this end, you might want to consider the following sorts of things:
1. Are there stairs in your house and if so, are you having difficulty with them?
2. Do you need help with household tasks, maintenance issues, cooking, shopping or any personal care?
3. Are there people that can help you with things you cannot do for yourself?
4. If you do not have people who can help, would you be willing to hire someone?
5. How do you get around and is this starting to be difficult for you? (driving, public transit, taxi)
6. Are you close to important amenities (doctor, dentist, store etc.)?
7. Do you use any assistive devices?
8. Do you have safety or health concerns?
9. Do you feel isolated?
10. Do you get out regularly or are you in your home all the time?
11. Do you have a support network of friends and family nearby?
12. Has your family indicated any concerns about your living situation?
These questions can serve as a guide to help you determine if it's time to downsize or obtain support in the home you are currently in. While a few minor issues may not be problematic, some larger ones may suggest a need to begin considering resources and perhaps researching options to downsize with or without care services. it is far better to do your research and start discussing options with your family before you actually need the help and most certainly before crisis hits and available options become limited.