Downsizing your home and personal belongings is nothing new to people when you have raised your children and they have their own families now with their own home. However, “letting go” of a home is very difficult for many seniors. The many memories made during the lifetime of getting married, buying a home, having that first, second, third or fourth child all start to make a person smile when reminiscing.
Your home is and has always been a place to find peace, to be happy and to be loved. A family can spend a lot of money and time building a home and the memories of that home. There are many birthdays, anniversaries and friendships made within the walls of a home. There are many laughs, tears, heartaches and loss made within the walls of a home as well. A home can be everything to so many people. When it is time to sell a home after raising a family it can be very emotional for everyone. What is being let go is a house, not the home, not the love and certainly not the memories of what you built within your family. There is a difference between a house and a home.
Those large houses with four and five bedrooms, a finished basement and large yards for everyone to roam around are great when you have many people living under one roof. Those houses are great when you have Sunday or holiday dinners after church at your house. What makes it go from a house to a home are the experiences & memories you make along life’s journey. As we take our journey we get older. Age is a mindset according to how well we take care of ourselves. And sometimes we have no control of things such as diseases and the wearing down of a body. Your probably wondering how aging and selling a home go hand in hand. Many times when a family has been raised the parents still have this large home. There are still the taxes, expense of utilities and keeping everything up around the place. By now the home is outdated when it comes to the kitchen and bathrooms, the neighborhood has seen many changes of different families come and go. The major things in a home like the roof, windows, HVAC are all near their life expectancy and need replacing. All of this can be very expensive to replace or even maintain. What is more worrisome is getting hurt in a home for an aging parent. Many homes have all the bedrooms upstairs unless they are ranch homes or new construction which is building master bedrooms on the main floor, which is in high demand right now. About.com’s Senior Living reports The National Safety Council (NSC) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) teamed up in 2003 for a national educational campaign designed to reduce the number of preventable injuries among older Americans. They did so because each week, more than 30,000 Americans over the age of 65 are seriously injured by falling, and nearly 250 die from their injuries, according to the NSC. Of those who do survive falling, 20-30 percent experience debilitating injuries that affect them the rest of their lives. Falling is also the leading cause of injury, and the leading cause of injury-related death, for both men and women 75 and older.
If we look at who our seniors are today or are going to be in the near future we are looking at the Baby Boomers. Seventy-six million American children were born between 1945 and 1964 and according to Wikipedia statistics, baby boomers control over 80% of personal financial assets and more than half of all consumer spending. They buy 77% of all prescription drugs, 61% of over-the-counter drugs, and 80% of all leisure travel. The economic growth of anything has been determined by baby boomers and ladies & gentlemen it still is in 2014. Ask Gerber foods when the baby boomers were babies how their finances freely flowed. Or ask Mattel, SUV companies and now the vacation rentals, cosmetic & Lasik surgeries. Anyone who gets a product, service or need for the baby boomers succeed especially if the baby boomers want it has a very high success rate. Those born in 1955 will be the retirement age of 65 (most probably won’t retire according to baby boomer projections) in 2020 just a quick six years away. My question to all of you readers is what kind of housing do we really have for the aging baby boomers? No matter how defiant, resilient and accomplished the baby boomer generation has been the inevitable still exists and no one can stop the process of aging. Community leaders could change the dynamics of their community greatly by building quality independent senior living into their towns. Baby Boomers are retiring soon, are you ready to invite and include them as part of your community?
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