For purposes of this piece, we’re looking at those in their 70’s and 80’s who are entertaining the Big Question about moving to a Senior Community.  And aren’t quite ready.

How do you know when it’s time to move?

You look good, you feel good, you’re healthy, you’re active, you travel.  You have a few aches and pains but only a few.  You move a tiny bit slower, but only a tiny bit.  You enjoy your home and all that encompasses, your friends, your community.  You and your spouse have each other.  You manage just fine.  You don’t need to move now.

And that’s just it, you don’t need to move.

My question is why wait until you need to.

We move for a myriad of reasons and we’re excited about a lot of them – first home, new job, new love, promotion, retirement.  Even if we’re not full blown excited, we recognize that the move is important and will further our goals in life.

As we age, the reasons to move morph and our excitement often wanes.  We don’t see the move as promoting our goals but rather as an admission of our mortality.  We loathe to admit that our bodies change, our needs change, our appetites change.

Let me suggest that a move just might make life easier, a little more convenient and offer a little piece of mind.  Yes, living in a rural setting is quiet and beautiful.  It is also far from neighbors, grocery markets, shopping and restaurants.  That beautiful four-bedroom, four-bath home was perfect in the day, but holy moly, those are a lot of bathrooms to clean!  The three-story town home was the perfect empty nest, but three stories!   You get the idea.

If you are entertaining a move to a senior community because of concerns related to aging, let me suggest the best time to move is before you need to.  Move while you are healthy and hearty.  Move while your active.  Move while you travel.  Move while the decision is fully yours – as opposed to a reaction to a qualifying event (stroke, heart attack, falling.)  Most of all, move while you can still make a life in your new home.

Start with baby steps.  Visit a senior community. Visit as many as you can so you can compare. Meet the residents.  Try the food.  Stay the weekend.  Learn what the community has to offer and the costs.  You may be pleasantly surprised.

And lastly, speaking as a daughter, you will do your children a great service if you move closer to family.  Life happens, and when it does, a 30 minute, or even a two-hour car drive is much easier and less stressful than a plane ride to get to you.

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