Choosing your new home

  • Does your home feel too big?
  • Is the upkeep too much and the stairs exhausting?
  • Have you lost a spouse?
  • Are you becoming physically fragile
  • Has your income worsened?
  • If you answered yes to any of these, maybe it’s time to rethink your way of living — perhaps it’s time to downsize.

If so, the first step is to decide whether an apartment or a residence is right for you.

There are 5 key questions to consider:

  1. Am I feeling lonely or despondent?
  2. Am I confident living on my own?
  3. Am I healthy?
  4. How much daily help do I need?
  5. What can I really afford?

I can’t cover them all here, so let’s start with the first two.


Perhaps friends and family are no longer nearby, and you miss the social contact.

Residences are often marketed as “lifestyle” choices, with healthy seniors participating in an array of physically or mentally agile activities. If you crave the company of others, but are in poor health, take a look instead at day-to-day indoor activities:

  • Do you enjoy the offerings?
  • Can you see yourself participating?

If you prefer solitude or lighter contact with neighbours, the residence should not be your option. Perhaps an apartment, or living closer to relatives, may suit you better.

2. Mental state.

Aging can be accompanied by increased anxiety, such as feeling anxious at night, or when strangers ring the doorbell. Maybe living alone rattles you in a way it never did before.

Triggers for increased anxiety may include the sheer number of decisions you have to make each day, the myriad details that can be required when leaving the house to do errands or keep appointments, or the thought and planning necessary to prepare meals. Knowing your triggers helps you choose a home that eases your anxiety.

Assess the security of the new apartment or residence you’re considering. Can anyone get in? Is there a doorman or receptionist on duty day and night? Is there someone you can call upon if you hear or see something worrisome?

Stay tuned! My next blog will tackle the three next questions: your health, needs, and finances.