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Often we consult with seniors, boomers or family members about DOWNSIZING.

A frequently asked question is, “What should we bring to the retirement residence (condo or apartment?) ”

Their expectations are, that with a floor plan, we will be able to tell them what to bring. They are somewhat surprised when instead we ask, “HOW DO YOU WANT TO LIVE?”

Do you want to have people visit in your new “home”? Will they come for coffee, cards or supper? If you plan to serve food or drinks you will need the proper dishes, glasses and/or cutlery.

Recently while consulting with a lady, she quickly mentioned she would be having her bridge club come to her suite in the retirement residence and added, “I want to serve gin and tonic and …. and I also have new glasses and unopened playing cards.” She realized that a folding table would easily fit in her cupboard. There she was, planning her first SOCIAL engagement in her new place! Note: Instead of dreading the move   she was embracing the next adventure in her life.

If you want children or grandchildren to sleep over, the question is, “Where will they sleep?” A 96 year old just moved into a large room in a residence and brought two antique twin beds to be prepared for family or visitors. Everyone spoke so fondly of her, we would be surprised if she didn’t have guests. Other options might be a new sofa bed, futon or murphy bed.

One couple were lamenting the prospect of another cold winter. They decided to purchase an electric fireplace and planned to have their tv installed on the wall above it and place their comfortable chairs opposite it. They both enjoyed reading so they brought suitable lamps as well as side tables for their coffee.

We have had one lady insist on bringing a king sized bed. Many others say “I just need a place to sleep” and bring twin beds so they can utilize the extra space for other things. Seniors often “shrink” in size. If you are ordering a new bed, sit on it and make sure it’s not too high. We personally ordered beds with lower box springs.

We are always careful to address safety issues with seniors. If they have limited mobility, we discourage area carpets. ONE FALL COULD END IT ALL. Tables with four legs are more desirable than pedestal tables as seniors often use their arm muscles to stand up and pedestal tables can be tippy. Also, chairs with arms are easier for a senior to use. Just today we were with a gentleman who has a large electric lift chair. We helped him chose a location where it could operate easily and the chord would not be a tripping hazard.

Many seniors have moved pianos and one even brought a baby grand. Music was important to them.

One lady brought all her orchids.

A gentleman was passionate about wood carving and brought everything to continue enjoying this hobby.

Another man brought a bread making machine to just one room. He loved trying new recipes and got great enjoyment sharing his creations with others.

Got you thinking? Great!

When making choices on what to bring be sure to consider what is important to you.