May 15

Why is Where More Important than How?

By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions

In her mind, the woman in her mid-80s told me, moving into an assisted living community was the best decision she could make.

The woman was living alone in an apartment. Her eyesight was failing. She had given up her driver’s license and car. She was no longer able to cook. Soon, she anticipated, taking her medications would become a concern. How would she be able to tell if she was taking the right medications at the right time of day?

Her doctor had recommended that she look into assisted living. She explored her options and found a community she liked. All her concerns had been addressed and her questions answered to her satisfaction.

Moving in and becoming familiar with her new surroundings before her eyesight became any worse certainly made sense.

Yet, in her heart, the feeling was different. She was not used to making quick decisions, especially about leaving the place where she had lived for the past 10 years. She had grown accustomed to the place.

Maybe, just maybe, she could put off a move just a little bit longer.

In my heart, I understand why she felt the way she did. We get attached to where we live. Over the years, we have made the house, the apartment, the townhome into our home. We have decorated it to our tastes. We have become so familiar with where everything is we don’t think twice about walking around in the dark in the middle of the night.

Change is difficult. So is admitting that I may no longer be able to do everything I was able to do on my own.

In my mind, what is more difficult for me to comprehend is why so many people place a much higher value on where they live as opposed to how they live.

Why is the house more important than your health? Why forgo the opportunity to move into a residential apartment-home community where you can get the personalized assistance, help with medications and support services you need? For those who find themselves lonely because of isolation, why not move to an environment that provides a wealth of opportunities to socialize with friends old and new and participate in social, recreational, educational and wellness activities and programs. More and more research indicates that social interaction is one of the biggest keys to successful aging.

Why the mindset that I will not move from my house no matter what?

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