Most of us have activities that we want or need to do that we haven’t accomplished as yet. Immediate ones might comprise our “to-do” list – cut the grass, wash the car, get a new suit, get a haircut, groom the dog, go grocery shopping, and so forth. Some of them have more immediacy than others. Some items are on there as “rainy day” activities – clean out the closet or garage, organize the pantry, put tools away in the garage, and other items that have no deadline to be accomplished but still are important to us.
Longer-term, more important items that we would like to accomplish are said to be part of our “bucket list.” These are things that we have never done that we have always wanted to do but somehow never found time to do them. This would include such activities as taking an around the world cruise, visiting the pyramids in person, touring the White House, watching the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, seeing Stonehenge, bunging jumping, skydiving, spelunking (cave exploring at a specific cave or just in general), running a marathon, having a spa day, riding a motorcycle, touring the Grand Canyon by burro (or seeing it by helicopter), and so many other out-of-the-ordinary things that we generally don’t get to do.
One item that does not have to be on either list as we get older – the short-term “to-do” list or the once-in-a-lifetime fulfilling events that are on our personal “bucket list” (but maybe not on too many other people’s list because it is something that has meaning for us) – is shop for a new home, prepare to move into a different home, or move into a new home.
People who are making the conscious decision to age in place (because they really like their home, know they can’t afford to replace it with anything similar, or have no desire to live anyplace else) are eliminating a major life decision from their future. As aging in place professionals, we get to help them keep from needing to look for a new home off their “to-do” list. By this point in their lives (even if they get an early start on this and don’t wait until they are in their fifties or later), they have many other decisions to make or areas of their life they want or need to focus on accomplishing.
Rather than needing to look for another home to move into, people get to continue living where they are and avoid the tremendous amount of time that it takes to change their address. It takes time to look at neighborhoods where one might want to live and visit them in person or online, to decide on whether an existing home or new construction is more appropriate for meeting their needs, to inspect possible candidates for that new home online or in-person, to get one’s present home ready to show and sell (including doing something with all of the physical memories and other items collected or amassed over the years), to pack everything they own (by themselves, with the help of family members or friends, or with a professional moving company) to be put on a truck and taken to their new location, to unpack everything that has been moved and reassemble it at the new location, and begin putting their disrupted life back together again at the new address.
Instead of the disruption of needing to find another home to live in and then moving to it, people, as they choose to age in place and remain where they are, can redecorate or remodel their home to meet changing needs or appeal to their sense of design and enjoy their current home even more.
They may have medical needs or concerns (theirs or those of other family members such as their children or grandchildren) that need to be addressed, and not having to make housing or moving decisions allows them to focus on these more immediate issues.
Then, there is that bucket list of major activities that people can begin focusing on and making specific plans to accomplish when finding a new place to live or getting ready to move and resettle are not items on that list. This gives people the freedom to pursue completing items that they have established for themselves as major accomplishments that they want to make sure they do during their lifetime. Others want to accomplish items closer to their home – seeing local sites that they have yet to visit, taking day trips to nearby points of interest, planting a garden, pursuing a hobby (such as birdwatching, painting, sculpting, quilting, or photography) – or becoming a volunteer at their local hospital, school, library, church, senior center, boys and girls club, or similar facility.
Staying put and aging in place has many advantages, and not needing to be concerned about moving is a major one.