Can Your Home Affect Your Health?
Friday Mar 06th, 2020
Yes, but “right-sizing” could be just the right medicine!
The Crisis of Social Isolation
Your family home, once a bustling hub of activity, may have become a much quieter a place in your older years. Research shows that older Canadians are growing increasingly lonely and isolated, enough so that some are calling it a public health crisis. Mariam Larson, a gerontologist and coordinator with Allies in Aging says, "It's worse than smoking. It's worse than obesity. We didn't realize how much it can affect health beyond just quality of life."
You may be wondering, why is my Realtor talking to me about social well-being??? Well, as a Real Estate professional specializing in transitioning mature adults and older seniors, I frequently see people who emotionally hang onto a long-time home, even when it no longer suits them.
Certainly, the memories associated with a home create a strong attachment. However, I become concerned when I see older people becoming increasingly isolated due to the choice of staying put. In our harsh Canadian climate, many seniors feel uncomfortable driving, or even just navigating icy sidewalk conditions. As a result, they stay away from normal social activities and engagements, losing touch with friends. Meaningful connections, feelings of productivity, and emotional well-being all suffer, and ultimately so does physical health.
Fortunately, in the GTA, we have a number of amazing housing alternatives that offer built-in social connections and freedom from the burdens of owning and caring for a large home.. There is no “one-size-fits-all”, but instead, plenty of options that can help mature adults and older seniors right-size into their perfect space.
Condo living is a popular option and offers plenty of choices in terms of locations, amenities and demographics. In fact, some buildings actually cater to a 55 y.o.+ demographic! And, beyond condos, there are a number of options frequently grouped under the category of “Independent Retirement Living”, including Retirement Communities, Life Lease Communities, Retirement Homes, and more.
The take-home message here is that the emotional attachment you feel for your long-time family home, shouldn’t prevent you from living your best life in your older years. There are so many options that can keep you healthy, active and socially-engaged. The key is understanding those options and creating a plan that works for you.
If you or someone you care about would benefit from chatting with me about creating a transition plan and/or understanding real estate market, please reach out. I’m always available for a no-pressure, no obligation talk!