Nothing evokes the same emotional response as the meaning of home. For me, it is the safe haven from the world, where I go to be restored and renewed.  Right now, I am in good health and I am able to handle the physical work that comes with my home and 10 acres of wooded property. But in a few years, I imagine I will feel differently and perhaps overwhelmed thinking about my next move.

I think the emotional significance attached to our homes can weigh us down and keep us from confronting our aging challenges. It’s hard to predict how aging will unfold for any one of us, but it is a reality that it will include downsizing to some degree.

Every older adult has unique needs, so the housing choice that’s right for one person may not be suitable for you. The key to making the best choice is to match your housing with your lifestyle, health, and financial needs. Whether your search for different housing is prompted by evolving health considerations or the desire for a lifestyle change, finding the right place to live can be challenging and stressful.

To help older adults tackle this complex decision, Community Thread is offering a free workshop.  Local Realtors Ruth Hjelmgren and Jay Theriault developed the “Downsizing and Selling Your Home”        presentation to help people get more comfortable with the process.

According to Ruth, “downsizing is a term that has various meanings, so we concentrate on using it to describe taking action on exploring options, what impact moving would have and then what steps can successfully get someone there. The goal is to give attendees a sense of greater stability and peace of mind when considering selling their current home.”

The workshop, according to Jay, “Is not a ‘one size fits all’ conversation because attendees can be at different places in terms of their well-being and health, their financial situation and desire to move.  We come from an ‘information is power’ perspective. The more one knows about downsizing, especially if they can be proactive, the better off they’ll be and more choices they will have as their future unfolds.”

The earlier you realistically assess your current needs and how those needs may evolve over time, the more choices and control you’ll have. By learning about the different types of housing available when you are not under duress, you can make the choice that’s right for you.

Come gain a sense of empowerment about your housing options, because aging well requires making informed decisions about this inevitable transition while you still can. Plan ahead for your safe haven and you will be rewarded with the power that it promises. The workshop takes place Thursday, May 25 at 1 pm at Community Thread, 2300 Orleans St. W in Stillwater. There is no cost to attend.

By Sally Anderson