By Joan Koczor
Some of us are reaching that stage of our life when we are considering downsizing. Some are looking forward to removing the clutter and enjoying free time by moving to a smaller place that requires less upkeep.
If you are experiencing medical issues or unable to care for yourself, downsizing should be considered. At this time, it may become necessary for family, friends or your physician to discuss your options. Family members should use caution to ensure the senior feels part of the process.
Once the decision to downsize is made they will need to discuss what living arrangement is best for them.
Typically, renting or buying a smaller home or condominium, living with a family member or friend, assisted living, retirement community or nursing home facility are a few options you may have. Are there road trips you always wanted to take? You might consider an RV.
Taking into consideration where you will be moving and space available, a list of things you want to take with you and what can be donated or discarded can be helpful in the de-cluttering process.
Ask yourself: Is it necessary? Do I really want it? When is the last time I used it? Any financial value? Sentimental value? Are there a few things to pass along to family members?
No family members nearby? Feeling overwhelmed? There are several senior placement agencies in Arizona that can work with you. A representative will assess your situation taking into consideration your medical condition and needs, location and financial status.
If you are considering a senior placement agency do some research. Are they reputable? Is there a language barrier? Is the agency familiar with Medicare/Medicaid? Consider an agency that has the best experience dealing with all types of insurance. Does the agency charge a fee?
Downsizing is a life changing experience but not as scary as it sounds. It can also present new opportunities. A smaller living space means less maintenance and can free up time to pursue your hobbies, allow time to travel without the worry of what has to be done at home and more time for socialization. Check off a few items on your bucket list.
As with anything, exercise caution. Get as much information as you can before you make any decision. More importantly, do what is right for you.
Joan Koczor is a senior advocate and a member of the Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Committee.
This column appears in the October issue of InMaricopa.