Before you can do anything you need to do something else first

The Baby Boomer generation has different ideas about aging than their parents had. Boomers, in general, do not embrace the idea of going lockstep through the continuing care curriculum of independent living, on to assisted-living, and finally, to skilled nursing and/or dementia care. Also, most Baby Boomers haven’t laid up enough of a nest egg to carry them through retirement. Thus we all want to remain in our own homes as we grow old. The word is out and a whole range of products and services have emerged to serve that desire, from universal design, along with retrofitting the current home, to technology to watch over us. But before technology can save us, we need to deal with the accumulations of stuff that surrounds us. We’ve been shopping and inheriting stuff for decades. Before the carpenters can come in do their work, the space needs to be cleared to give them access. People who complacently say the only way they will ever leave their home is when they go out ‘feet-first’ and do nothing else, haven’t considered that they may not be dead but, instead, have an accident or a stroke. They will likely return to their homes but things will be different for them. The hospital discharge planner and/or a social worker may be the ones making the decisions about what has to go in order for the home to be made safe for changed circumstances. I am always urging seniors to be pro-active, to imagine future versions of themselves. Ask the future version of yourself what decisions she wishes you would make now about  the stuff you are keeping. An article in Smart Senior echos my approach

Harriet Vaughan

About Harriet Vaughan

I am a Senior Move Manager, working with Senior Citizens and their families when it is time to downsize or just make the home safer and more comfortable for aging in place. I help these people make decisions about what to keep, throw out, donate, or sell. I also offer workshops on "Getting Things Done When You Are Over 60". I write about how to overcome memory lapses and how to use your physical energy well. I have a degree in Home Economics from the University of Maine. I live in Coopers Mills, about 14 miles east of Augusta. I have been married for almost 50 years to my husband, Chuck Vaughan. Our business is called Legacy Years Transition Services.