Burdens of Home Ownership

February 27, 2020  |  By Shannon Novak  |  Families & Caregivers Active Senior Living

There’s something magical about home. It’s where life happens, where your memories live. It’s where your stuff is stored, and your kids’ stuff, for that matter. But as we age, home-ownership can become more and more troublesome until it eventually becomes a burden more than a comfort.

Senior woman shoveling snow

Even the basic and mundane daily chores that used to be a simple part of owning a home can become oppressive. From the monthly cascade of bills that need to be tracked and paid to year-round lawn care. The grass needs mowing, the leaves need to be raked. Flowers need tending and shrubbery pruned. Something always needs to be cleaned, and climbing a ladder to clean the gutters or change a lightbulb can be just as difficult as kneeling to scrub the bathtub.

Even if you outsource these obligations, organizing third-party services adds both cost and complexity. And that’s all without consideration to the constantly needed home repairs – the plumbers, electricians, etc. that are always called for one thing or another. It adds up fast, and even if it all feels normal after years of managing it, it’s still stressful.

So, while owning a home may have felt like an investment in your children, your community, and your future in the beginning, at what point do you decide to take the easy road? It is okay to want a simpler life.

What if there was an answer that would end the burdens of homeownership and free you to live that simpler life? Would it be worth considering?

Enter senior living. These vibrant centers of life and activity are akin to living your life on a cruise ship at dock – all the amenities, none of the seasickness.

While making a move can be an overwhelming thought, the pros are worth considering.

1. Socialization

When we’re younger, socialization comes easily. From your earliest memories of playing with siblings and cousins or being sent out to play with the neighborhood kids to years of schooling to activities with your own children, socialization was built right in, but as we age, those activities often fall away. However, socialization never stops being important to our health and well-being, and community living provides abundant opportunities to mingle without removing the option for privacy.

2. Health & Nutrition

Finding the motivation to cook can be nearly impossible when it’s just for one or two people. It’s time-consuming, and then there are all those dishes afterward. As a result, meals can become more basic and less nutritious during a time in life when proper nutrition is critical. That’s what makes the all-day restaurant dining option of a community so appealing. Without the shopping, the dishes, and the prep time, you can allow yourself to simply enjoy the delicious, balanced meal and the company of your friends. 

3. Amenities

Senior living communities not only remove the burdens of home maintenance, they also place a number of amenities right at your fingertips. All-day restaurant dining and a fitness center are just the beginning. Other amenities include a salon, a wide variety of events and entertainment, internet access, cable, and even transportation services.

4. Services

The unsung hero of community living is the stress that’s immediately removed by taking away the responsibilities of home maintenance. Not only are utilities included, but maintenance services, housekeeping, laundry, and even lawn care are all built-in as well. Removing these concerns provides the freedom to engage in the activities you truly enjoy. 

Of course, every “pro” has a complementary “con” to go with it, and they can change from person to person. Beyond the stress of the actual move, one of the greatest “cons” associated with senior living is the cost, but what many people don’t realize at first glance is that, especially if you have a mortgage, the cost of senior living can be the same, or even cheaper than owning an older home once you factor in included services and amenities, such as meals, transportation, utilities, and more.

Choosing a senior living community may mean downsizing, and it does mean packing your things and saying goodbye to the place you’ve long called home, but home is always with you, it is what you make it, and the layers of stress that are washed away when you choose community living can be life-changing.

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