Saturday, June 09, 2018

Aging In Place

I was reading Joared and threw a long comment on a question she asked about aging in place and wouldn't you know it, it went poof into the ether. I had stopped copying blog comments as backup a while ago but I should start again if they are long. Live and learn.

So instead I thought I'd write my own post about the changes I've made and how I'm living my life in much changed surroundings since this time last year.

I am struck (joyfully) by how whittled down my possessions are now. I have downsized more than a few times in my life. And upsized too. Does anyone ever write about upsizing except in reference to Happy Meals? Life can be writ excessively large in a 4 story century old home which was my marital home for many years and where my children were raised. A lovely old place but also where my marriage finally withered and died. So mixed memories.

So yes, the finally downsizing perhaps if my (mental)health holds out.

This is a great place to age-in-place as long as the marbles don't roll around. The only time anyone exits is when the stove is shut down and the meds are in electronic dispensers in the bathroom and you're doing your laundry one knickers at a time every hour and forgetting where your apartment is. One 90 year old recently made such an exit. A former high profile banker. Her only child, a son, was worn out from visiting every day with meals and checkups. His suggestion of daily home help was met with words he had never heard her utter in his life - a blue laden dictionary of profanity from a high church Anglican which, he, a merchant seaman (ret.), had never encountered anywhere. It was enough to have her removed, knickers and meds, to a full care home.

I haven't looked back since I moved here. I still wake up every morning and listen to the birds outside and am so very grateful I don't have to worry about anything except taking care of myself and my simple needs.

Frankly, I never thought I'd adjust to living in a one bedroom apartment. But it's perfect. I'm on the second floor, overlooking a lake and Signal Hill with a slice of ocean across the way. I am content. Truly content. It seems like a very long time since I could say that. Everything I need is at my fingertips. And I'll have it ready for show and tell once I get back here and wade through the huge boxes and tubs of photos (you wouldn't believe!)with the help of Grandgirl who is arriving next month.

I had lunch yesterday with a friend who followed me in here from her country home (her home has been in her family for generations). And she said to me that she'd be quite happy of she never had to see it again. She has agreed to keep it for the family for now but her heart is in her apartment here.

Anyway, we wound up giggling like schoolgirls at this new lease on life we both feel, like we are teenagers again, ready to explore a new world with "parents" taking care of all the endless maintenance and entertaining (her family - me B&B) and animal care and making up beds and wondering when the snowplow would clear the driveway, and what happens when the pipes freeze again, etc., etc.

So we ran off to the Habitat for Humanity store for a while and poked around and then hit our local library dancing around the shelves, stocking up like mad things because now there's lots more time to read.

And savour.

Savour this glorious stage of life.

How very lucky I am.

33 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great weight has been lifted from you. My husband had scary surgery this year that motivated us to finally get the shredder going. Papers from decades ago. No time made to deal with them in all our moves - until now! It feels wonderful to let it all go and also to take stuff every week to the charity shop.

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    1. I know Molly, the shedding is fabulous. Daughter has done a huge amount in the last month or so too. Simplifying is true contentment.

      XO
      WWW

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  2. Oh, the frustration of having a long, well-thought-out, blog comment disappear into the ether forever - and for no apparent reason! I guess it happens to us all occasionally, and usually just after we've been lulled into that false sense of over-confidence, "Oh, it doesn't happen anymore, I'll not bother with the irritation of copying and saving. It's such a bind!" One can never rewrite it as succinctly and with similar delightful, flowing, prose the second time. It's not only gone from the page, but from the head as well!
    Your description of the 'high profile banker' reminded me of my own dear mother. She certainly wasn't a high profile anything, but she was ninety when she went the same way. Loving Jesus one minute and swearing like a navvy who'd just put the spade through his foot the next. She died soon after, convinced 'the Lord' was reaching out to her.
    I'm so glad you've settled into your new home. I was concerned that you'd miss the old house too much, but our ability to adapt to new things is really quite amazing. Enjoy!

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    1. I don't miss the house at all RJA, I guess I was well and truly ready to embrace the next stage of life!

      I hope you are enjoying living in France. You haven't posted anything about Macron so I wonder how is he treating you?

      XO
      WWW

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  3. I wish you all the very best in your new contented one bed room flat and all that your downsizing has to offer you. I envy you.

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    1. Thanks Ramana, but I do know that your children (including Chutki) spoil you completely!

      XO
      WWW

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  4. Your new lifestyle is fitting you like a soft kid glove, WWW. I'm so pleased - and not a little envious! :)

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    1. I can't believe how lighthearted I feel T. A bonus, I never expected this.

      XO
      WWW

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  5. Hooray! Way to allow yourself to be properly situated to enjoy this part of life! I am impressed that you were able to let go of an old way of life! Good for you!

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  6. I never really had to try Jean, so no credit is due me at all. It's just a pleasant surprise to be on the other side of a lot of stress and worry and realize it has all gone :)

    XO
    WWW

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  7. Contentment and joy - what more could you ask? I am a believer in downsizing. I moved into a smaller house after my kids went to college and will likely move to a smaller place still after I retire. The less I have to spend my time taking care of a place, the better.

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    1. So very true, I don't know why others hang on to huge old family homes in case the kids "come home for a day and we don't want to upset them by moving."

      I love planning so many trips this summer without a care in the world :)

      XO
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  8. I love this post, your attitude about life. Sounds like fun with your friend.

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    1. It will be bitter sweet with my friend as she has signs of a serious illness. But I will savour every minute.

      XO
      WWW

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  9. How wonderful that you have the gift of contentment. I wish you well on your trip.

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    1. Thank you E. Contentment strikes out of the blue, I do some meditation practice every morning (Tao) and it seems to be helping me become more and more aware.

      XO
      WWW

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  10. Sounds like right now you're in the perfect spot.

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  11. Thank you for this. You remove so many of my fears.

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    1. I am so glad. I, too, learn so much from the blogs of aging elders. And also from the aging I see around me here. What to do and what not to do.:)

      XO
      WWW

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  12. I am sort of envious of the simple life but every attempt I make to weed out my books ends in me sitting down and re-reading them. It does make me happy though! :)

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    1. I totally understand Jenny. It took me a long time to realize that the (now) local library can order in any book I want and (b)there truly aren't that many I want to re-read!

      XO
      WWW

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  13. Replies
    1. I'm going to write in more detail about this major move.

      XO
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  14. What a lovely post today and how I'd sure like to have the same environment right now. Although have moved and downsized (last time 20 yrs ago) have now built up a huge inventory of books, books, photos, and just stuff all over again. I will print this inspiring account of your present digs for frequent reading and, hopefully, motivation! I want to be where you are, in fact just this morning being thoroughly disgusted with the current political climate in the US, intend to not focus on it but instead clear out my stuff!! Thank you.
    Marge

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    1. Hi Marge:
      For my own sanity I may have to delete politics from all my newsfeeds, it is getting beyond toxic and depressing. More so than ever. I'm trying to focus on the little things that give me pleasure.

      XO
      WWW

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  15. Sorry you lost your comment on my blog. I’m having similar problems elsewhere with my new MAC and how innocent gestures too close to the sensory pad wipes out my writings. Guess I’ll get better.

    Love this account you’ve shared here! Yes, it’s the marbles that has us all concerned. You gals enjoy yourselves and newfound freedoms.

    I must downsize more, but I can find so many other things to do instead that are so much more enjoyable.

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    1. I know Joared. Daughter helped a lot, even quietly overruling some of my more rash decisions and then offering up her pluckings after I had moved and sold the house. LOL.

      It is a huge task, I often felt overwhelmed and will write more on all I learned through the process soon.

      XO
      WWW

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  16. Aging in an apartment where you grew, started your life, continued it, and watch it wither— this is exactly the concept that has always lurked in my mind. I think you’ve lived a good life, and reading your entries, I can say that you’ve enjoyed pretty much most of your life in your apartment. Cheers!

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    1. Well my former husband and I started out in a one bedroom, feeling it palatial at the time then the houses getting bigger and bigger and then shrinking down and expanding yet again to a B&B.

      I'm enjoying the teenagey feeling to this apartment.

      XO
      WWW

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  17. We moved to a seniors "resort/life care" apartment fairly young (in our 60s) because it was wher we wanted to relocate. "Why move twice when we could move once," was our thinking. We live in a very nice apartment with access to exceptional services just outside Boston. We've been here six months and I'm having fun decorating. The trick is to figure out what I want my new life to be on a daily basis. How do I want to fill my time now? I have the leisure time to try different options since the work of day-to-day life is simplified by where I live. It's a bit unnerving to change from homeowner to seniors apartment dweller but it was the right move.

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  18. Love the contentment expressed here. I think of you every time I use one of the dishcloths you sent. I am working my way toward the same kind of deletions (politics in particular, possessions in general). Enjoy your new freedom!

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