Moving Mom Monday: Should Your Parents Consider Moving to Independent Living?

Some seniors feel that moving out of a home they’ve lived in for decades automatically means they’re losing their independence.

But independent living is almost the opposite of that. It’s about making it easier and more fun to live on their own.

What is independent living?

Independent living is housing that’s designed exclusively for people over age 55. It can range from apartments to houses, but they’re all designed to be senior-friendly. This usually means they’re smaller, easier to get around in, and don’t require maintenance or yard work.

Many independent living communities also offer extras, like:

  • Group meals
  • Transportation
  • Housekeeping and laundry service
  • Security and staff available 24/7
  • Recreational centers or clubhouses
  • Organized activities like arts & crafts, holiday parties, classes, movie nights
  • Facilities like a pool, fitness center, tennis court, golf course

Who is independent living right for?

Independent living is a good choice for active, healthy older adults who can get around on their own and don’t need help with activities of daily living.

Most people living in independent living still drive, may be employed, have active lifestyles, and participate in the greater city community.

Seniors might consider independent living because they:

  • Feel that maintaining their house is getting more and more difficult.
  • Have shrinking social circles and are getting lonely.
  • Are having a more difficult time with driving, which limits activities.
  • Have lost a spouse and feel that joining a community of people their own age would help them stay engaged in life and prevent loneliness.
  • Want to move to be closer to their kids, but don’t want to live with them, don’t want the upkeep of a house, and do want to make new friends in their new city.

Read more about the advantages of independent living at DailyCaring.com.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Freedom Friday: 8 Tips for a Happy Retirement Life

Baby Boomer Couple in City

In the article 8 tips for a happy retirement life, author Lee Price writes:

“It’s easy to be worried about retirement when you hear all the discussions about a weak economy or poorly performing investments.

But instead of thinking only about the financial logistics of retirement, have you put much thought into what you want your day-to-day life to be like?

For many people, the idea of giving up work (and for some, their identity) is scary. There’s also the worry of whether you would actually be bored when you’re no longer in the workforce.

The truth is that retirement can be whatever you want it to be. That might mean taking an art class, volunteering for a charity close to your heart, or taking an active role in childcare for the grandkids.”

Here are some tips that can help you create a happy retirement:

It’s not just about the money. Yes it is important to have a financial plan in place for retirement, but it’s not the only thing you should be thinking about. What kind of life do you want for yourself? How do you want to feel? These are also important questions that you should try to answer.

Make some concrete plans. It’s all well and good to say that you want to travel – but why not be specific? Make yourself an action plan with items to tick off by a certain date – it could be a visit to Fiji before your next birthday.

Do what makes you happy. Now is your time to focus on you, so find things to do that are meaningful for you and give you joy. That could mean taking on a course in photography or even getting a pet.

Keep your mind active. If you think you will miss the stimulation of the work environment, you might want to take steps to address this early on. It might be a course to learn French or taking up the guitar.”

Read the rest: 8 tips for a happy retirement life
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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Transition Thursday: Transition or Retirement? Words Matter to Boomers

Baby Boomer Woman Executive

In the Inc. Magazine article Transition or Retirement? Words Matter to Boomers, writer Samuel Bacharach explains that the aging Boomer may be hesitant to discuss their retirement plans because the organization may have a culture of “once you’re out, you’re out”:

“What do you want from the best of the Baby Boomers? You want to make sure that they are able to share their experience and accumulated knowledge, and have an opportunity to mentor others, rather than abruptly disassociate. Clearly, there are those whom you’d be happy to see leave, but smart leaders understand the importance of giving the best and brightest of the Boomers the space to transition.

Creating the capacity to transition with grace, partnering with them, and allowing them to continue their involvement is a win-win for everyone. In doing so, keep the following in mind:

1. Talk about transition into retirement, not simply retirement. The word “transition” gives the potential retiree a sense of value and the impression that this is a stepped process, rather than a quick push out the door.

2. Give them an opportunity to make suggestions as how they see the transition unfolding. A stepped process with gradual disengagement creates a sharing opportunity rather a conflict.”

Read more advice at Transition or Retirement? Words Matter to Boomers.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Wellness Wednesday – What Kinds of Foods Do I Need to Eat as I Age?

Group of fresh fruits and vegetables

Adults over the age of 50 have different dietary needs from those of younger adults.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has published Health Tips for Older Adults, a web-based publication that offers tips on health and wellness for older adults.

According to NIH, “When you get older, your body begins to need fewer calories, but you need just as many nutrients. Nutrient-dense foods pack a lot of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your body needs into a small amount of calories.

Eat more of these nutrient-dense foods

Older adults, along with other Americans, are advised to “eat from the rainbow” of foods rich in nutrients, like these:

– fruits and vegetables (choose a range of types with vibrant colors)
– whole grains, like oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, and brown rice
– fat-free or low-fat milk and cheese, or soy or rice milk that is fortified with vitamin D and calcium
– seafood, lean meats, poultry, and eggs
– beans, nuts, and seeds

Eat less of these foods

Some foods have many calories but offer few nutrients. Older adults should eat less of these foods:

– sugar-sweetened drinks and desserts that have added sugars
– foods with butter, shortening, or other fats that are solid at room temperature
– white bread, rice, and pasta made from refined grains.”

Discover more tips at Health Tips for Older Adults.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Toss It Tuesday – 20 Tips to Help You Get Rid of Junk

Senior couple packing a miving boxIn her article 20 Tips to Help You Get Rid of Junk, author Paula Spencer Scott knows how difficult it can be to help a parent downsize for a move. “Where you see a houseful of stuff to sort and toss, your parent is apt to see treasures, essentials, and a lifetime of memories,” she writes.

Here are some expert-tested ideas to avoid the ‘junk wars’ and make downsizing less stressful — for all of you.

1. Avoid tackling the whole house in one go. Though it’s more efficient for you to plow full steam ahead, your parent is apt to be stressed emotionally, if not also physically. When organizing a parent’s move, it’s better to think in terms of months, not days. Tackle one room or area at a time. About two hours at a stretch is ideal for many older adults, says Margit Novack, president of MovingSolutions in Philadelphia and founding president of the National Association of Senior Move Managers.

2. Frame decisions as yes-no questions. Open-ended choices put a reluctant mover on the spot, raising stress. Avoid asking, ‘Which pots and pans do you want to keep?’ Winnow them down yourself first, then present a more manageable yes-no option: ‘I’ve got your best frying pan, a large pot, and a small sauce pot. Does that sound good?’ ‘Couching questions for yes-no answers provides the opportunity for the parent to feel successful so you can move on to the next thing,’ Novack says. Items that exist in abundance work especially well to presort: clothing, kitchenware, tools, and anything else you know the person has way more of than he or she will have space for.

3. Use the new space as a guide. Measure exactly how much closet or cabinet space the new place has (assisted living communities will provide this information if you ask), and fill an equivalent amount of space as you sort. Mark off the comparable space so your parent has a visual guide. Beware of excessive multiples. In assisted living, your parent only needs one frying pan, one or two sets of sheets, one coffeemaker, one or two coats, and so on.

4. Banish the “maybe” pile. Relocation experts call it the OHIO rule: Only handle it once. The less decisive you are about what to do with an item, the more attached you (or your parent) risk becoming to it, Hayes says. Moving things in and out of ‘maybe’ piles is also takes time. Tempting as it is to set aside tough sorts for later, unless there’s room to ‘hold’ them at a relative’s house, it’s not generally worth paying storage-rental fees (unless it’s a very large estate and time is tight). That’s because once they’re boxed, your parent isn’t likely to look at the items ever again. (Out of sight, out of mind.) Exception: Save time by boxing piles of paperwork, which doesn’t take much room. Papers are time-consuming to go through and present an unpleasant task for many disorganized people, casting a pall on your packing.”

Find more ideas: 20 Tips to Help You Get Rid of Junk.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Moving Mom Monday: Moving Tips for Seniors

Baby Boomer Couple with Moving Professionals

More than 12 percent of the American population is over the age of 65 and an estimated 1.5 million “senior” Americans will move into new residences this year.

Mayflower has been moving household goods across the country since 1927. The company offers some Moving Tips for Seniors that can help you execute a smooth move:

Take inventory. As soon as you decide to move (even before you put your house on the market), begin taking inventory of everything in your home. Start with the most remote corner of the basement and work your way through the entire house until you reach the peak of the attic.

Will it fit? You will most likely need to scale down the number of belongings you take to your new home. Compare the size of your new space with your old space. Will all of the belongings you plan to take fit? Visualize where your current possessions will go and then decide what to do with those pieces that probably will not fit.

Declutter your curio. Inevitably, many of us gather considerable collections over the years, some of which can be distributed among family or sold for supplemental moving funds. Ask family and friends about taking sentimental pieces and then consider selling or donating additional items to cut moving costs.

Keep emotions in check. The emotional impact of changing one’s lifestyle, parting with objects from the past and going through a house full of belongings — and memories — is hard work, both mentally and physically. Make sure there is enough time allotted to review possessions and to adjust to the idea of moving. Realistic decisions also need to be made regarding how much packing and moving should be done without the help of a professional.”

Read more Moving Tips for Seniors.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Freedom Friday: 10 Popular Baby Boomer Activities

Baby boomer senior couple in front of RV

In her article 10 Popular Baby Boomer Activities, author Marianne Spoon writes:

“Baby boomers have adopted attitudes and lifestyles unlike any previous generation. The 78 million diverse Americans born between 1946 and 1964 enjoy a variety of activities, ranging from aerobics and workouts to quality time with their favorite rock ‘n’ roll albums.”

Aging baby boomers are unlikely to settle for your typical bingo night. So which pastimes appeal to the generation of bell bottoms and Beatlemania? What are popular baby boomer activities?

Spooner continues:

Active lifestyle is very important. Boomers participate in a mix of solitary and group activities such as tennis, golf, jogging, walking and aerobic exercise, to name a few. Because baby boomers were the first to be targeted by health advertisers on TV, it’s not surprising that they take their well-being seriously. But the generation is also known to take exercise to the extreme. Coined “Boomeritis,” many active boomers are breaking their aging bodies by overdoing it. As a result, hip and knee replacements are on the rise for individuals between the ages of 40 and 60, but doctors are unsure of whether the procedures will withstand boomers’ active lifestyles.

Many plan to continue working well after 65. Activities surrounding switching career paths or trying something new are likely to become more popular as baby boomers age. According to one industry survey, baby boomers reported wanting to switch to professions such as consulting and teaching, where they can use their experiences to help and guide others. Some even reported wanting to be tour guides, leading leisurely trips through tourist spots.

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) is very popular. Baby boomers’ independence and innovation leads them to activities to do on their own. This is why home improvement projects and do-it-yourself endeavors are popular among the group. Improving quality of home makes sense for boomers looking to stick with their current residence as they age.”

Read the rest: 10 Popular Baby Boomer Activities

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Transition Thursday: Advice From 7 Baby Boomers Who Reinvented Their Careers

Baby Boomer Entrepreneur

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of people 55 and older in the work force in 2013 was 40.3%, up from 29% in 1993.

In the MONEY Magazine article Advice From 7 Baby Boomers Who Reinvented Their Careers, writer Alicia Adamczyk explains that Baby Boomers continue to reinvent themselves:

“While the rise in older workers can be attributed in part to stagnating wages and insufficient retirement savings, those factors don’t tell the whole story. More and more baby boomers are switching careers later in life not out of financial necessity, but rather for the intellectual rigor and the chance to finally pursue their life’s passion. In fact, a report from the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement found that ‘Boomers are just as likely or more likely to be engaged in their work than are the younger Generation X or Millennial generations.’

Another report, New Careers for Older Workers, from the American Institute for Economic Research, looked at people who changed or tried to change jobs after age 45 and found that 82% of people 47 and older who took up new careers in the last two years were successful, and 50% saw a salary increase.”

Click here to read the stories of seven boomers who are pursuing second acts.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Wellness Wednesday – A Baby Boomer’s Guide to a Five Star Retirement

Baby Boomers in Exercise Class

Bluebird Care, an Irish home care company, has published an infographic called A Baby Boomer’s Guide to a Five Star Retirement that offers tips on health and wellness, financial readiness, travel and culture, community service and personal development.

Here are five wellness tips:

1. Stay fit. Building as little as 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise is heart healthy and adds stamina and vigor.

2. Fitness activities that are aerobic and can be done with low impact on body joints are best. Consider swimming, cycling and yoga to keep in shape.

3. Don’t neglect exercises for the brain. Studies have shown that activities like crossword puzzles, sudoku and even reading the newspaper daily help keep the mind sharp and agile.

4. For some people, body parts do wear out. If this is the case, discuss alternatives with a GP. Knee and hip replacements are on the rise and helping older persons maintain an active lifestyle.

5. Eat wisely, but eat well. Focus on nutrient rich foods instead of supplemental vitamins. Be mindful of portion sizes and exercise moderation in alcohol consumption.”

Discover more tips by viewing A Baby Boomer’s Guide to a Five Star Retirement Infographic.

NOTE: If the infographic looks too small in your browser window, click on the graphic so it shows at 100%.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Toss It Tuesday – 10 Tips for Downsizing Baby Boomers

Senior couple moving boxesAs Baby Boomers and Seniors face life transitions, the thought of downsizing a lifetime of belongings can feel overwhelming.

Here are a few tips that can help, as described in the Chicago Tribune article 10 tips for downsizing Baby Boomers:

Have a plan. Think about what kind of lifestyle you want. Do you prefer an urban setting? Or do you need a yard? Do you want to be part of a community that offers lots of activities and amenities such as golf courses and swimming pools? Or are you a more independent type who seeks out opportunities on your own? ‘Investigate a lot of different options,’ suggests Renee Funk, president at the Relocation Company, a Chicago-based firm that helps move empty nesters. If you’ve raised your family in the suburbs and don’t want to leave, Funk recommends looking at the newer condominium buildings now commonly found in many suburban downtowns, near shops and restaurants. ‘These buildings can provide a similar lifestyle to the city while staying in the suburbs,’ says Funk.

Consider a short distance move. Not everyone wants to move to a warm-weather destination, such as Florida. Many downsizing Boomers would rather stay here. Take Ruth and Don Mattison. They sold their 4,400-sqaure-foot house in south suburban Mokena and bought a house at the active adult community Shorewood Glen in Shorewood. Their son, a firefighter, and daughter-in-law and their three children live nearby. The Mattisons like to help out with the kids when their son is on duty. So they stayed near their family, but got rid of the big house and all the chores. At the new house, the landscape work and snow shoveling is taken care of for them.

Age restricted? Before they moved, the Mattisons decided their new home would probably be their last move. So they thought carefully about whether or not they wanted to live in a neighborhood with young families. The Mattisons decided that they’d rather live at Shorewood Glen where residents must be age 55 or older. Ruth Mattison says, ;We wanted to move into a neighborhood with people our own age who shared our interests. We all have lots in common.'”

Read seven additional tips in 10 tips for downsizing Baby Boomers.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582