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Losing or Gaining

Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging by Connie Mason Michaelis

I have a pet peeve that has resurfaced! I just get so irritated when I hear this particular statement. It goes like this, “You will give up your independence when you move to retirement living.” I watched a whole television show recently that was based on this faulty premise. It is just NOT true; it has no basis in fact. When most of us moved away from our parent’s home for the first time, we moved into an apartment, right? Were we ever as independent as that day? Oh, my word, with 500 square feet and shelves made out of bricks and boards…we were free at last! Independence started in an apartment, and it can be experienced again in an apartment. Dependence or independence is a mindset. Getting rid of home maintenance, taxes, insurance, leaf raking, and snow shoveling sounds pretty independent to me. This whole dilemma of moving out of your home has become a major subject of discussion concerning the older population.

When my mom moved into a retirement community at the age of 90, she did not want to leave her home. She was concerned about losing her independence. My mom was widowed when she was 50 and ran the family business for 20 years. After that, she bought and remodeled several homes and then drove to Texas on her own with the snowbirds for ten years. My mom could take care of herself and anyone else that would let her! After some convincing, she finally moved to an independent senior apartment, and after one day, she loved it. She left all the homeowner issues behind and started playing cards again, joined a choir, went on trips, drank coffee with neighbors, and became president of the resident council---so much for losing her independence! Home, no matter the size, is where your heart is and where you can enjoy life.

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