Saturday’s post postponed. Read on…….

Still cleaning out our without-internet, without-wireless home. (I’m writing from the library.) Try going through decades of files–on second thought, don’t–just dump them…just kidding.  There are always things that shouldn’t be dumped, that need shredding and then, of course, there’s the nostalgia–reliving some aspect of life sparked by something in the files. All takes time.

I was told by a 70-something-year-old friend who moved last year and thought she wouldn’t live through the experience (staying on same street, moving to a smaller home), that her excellent realtor said people should move in their 60’s when they still have a good energy supply—rather than thinking they’ll move after the last child leaves/marries/whatever–when they’re probably around 70.  (I think many in the east marry later than in other parts of the US and are older when the last child leaves).  No doubt good advice, based on our experience. (Wanna see an old high school prom picture?)

As the closing on our home nears, I commute some days from our city apartment to our soon-to-be-sold suburban home; other days I stay up here, without convenient internet access–but I’m near everything that needs to be cleaned out. By the end of May, all this disruption should end. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to post twice a week on Tues. and Saturday–but judging from this past week, I may not be very successful.

The library is closing. Gotta go. Please come back.  

In the meantime, think about what aging parents and old parents go through when they move. And if it’s a move they haven’t initiated and they still have a good mind, and you’re helping, think about their history and their memories and involve them in the throwing-out decisions…..(much as you will no doubt be tempted to do otherwise). Some of their memories may evoke sharing precious stories of their life…and that’s priceless, isn’t it?

When Aging Parents Should Move From Their Homes

Do you know the optimum age at which aging parents should move?
Clue: It’s a wake-up call for us.

I’ve previously written several posts about downsizing, as well as whether big city apartments are a good place to grow old (after reading a NY Times article about big cities’ efforts to become more senior friendly). As we prepare for our move, we’re hearing a lot about other people’s experiences and receiving a lot of advice.

Of course one size doesn’t fit all and generalizations are just that–not age specific. Yet according to a tiny sample (1 realtor plus older sellers) ideally people in their 60’s should be thinking about and planning to move before they’re into their 70’s.  Translated: We shouldn’t be too old when we move. When we’re old enough to qualify for those senior early-bird dinner specials or other senior discounts, we should begin thinking (just thinking, mind you) ahead.

Reasons include the fact that: people begin to slow down; it gets harder to move with each passing year; no one wants to move because they’re pressured to move; and how many times have we heard older people lamenting the fact they didn’t move earlier.

A good way to address this issue (as well as most other issues) is to ask ourselves What the goal? for aging parents and for ourselves (if we’re in the age group). By keeping the goal foremost in mind we separate the extraneous from the necessary and can stay on course.

And the goal may be to keep aging parents–who are happy and doing reasonably well–in place. Two of our senior advisors, now in their 90’s, both having recovered from falls in their homes resulting in broken hips, are now happily back in their homes without caregivers.

In addition, Aging In Place options have been springing up in towns and cities throughout the country, ever since the Beacon Hill project in Boston was conceived at the end of the 1900’s.

Bottom line: there is no doubt a time when moving is easier for older people–a time before they slow down, probably around 70–although clearly the age varies depending on the individual. But then, perhaps, aging in place options will make it possible for older people to remain in their homes long after they have slowed down and no one will need to think about moving unless cognitive or other impairments necessitate it.

Check out “Newsworthy” (right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities and respected professionals, plus practical information–to help parents age well.