How does someone know that they have found the home they want to remain in and age in place there? It’s not an epiphany but neither is it that difficult. It parallels other important or major life decisions, and in some ways may not even seem like much of a decision at all.
If we remember back to when we were dating, and some people still might be doing this, there was the question of how much do we like being with this person, is this someone we can relate to or talk with easily, do we seem to share many of the same values and outlook on life, and is this someone we can see ourselves remaining with longterm? Through a series of trial and error, we often find such a person that we want to be our life partner – if this was our objective. It could happen with the first person we look at seriously or the tenth or twentieth. That part is not important, and it’s not important how we come to know that this is the person that checks off all (of the majority) of those boxes that we need.
There is no application process or formal evaluation. It’s an emotional decision, and at some point, we just know that this is the person. There’s no going back and forth over the decision, no weighing of alternatives, no risk-reward analysis, no anything except pursuing the commitment.
As we began our careers and working in various fields to end up where we are now – or where we are going if we are making a career move to be able to focus on providing aging in place services in our area for people who can benefit from what we intend to offer – we found something that clicked. Maybe we took some aptitude tests, counseled with others (supervisors, coworkers, mentors, or family), or just woke up one day with the realization that this what we truly were meant to be doing. However it was that we arrived at the decision that we were doing our life’s work – or that we needed to look a little more in search of it – it wasn’t one that we agonized over or had to run a poll to validate our decision. It was emotional, it was intuitive, it just seemed right.
How about when we decided to have a family and raise children – or possibly decide not to do this? It just seemed like something we were supposed to do – regardless of which decision it was and regardless of how scary it may have seemed at times since then. While we may have thought about before reaching our final decision, once we made the decision, that was it. Of course, once the children came along, we were committed.
Some decisions that we have made along the way have been important at the time and likely have made lasting contributions to the people we are today, but they were not as intuitive at the time. Going to college – or whether to go at all – likely was something that we thought about a great deal before we decided which school to attend (finances, distance from home, curriculum offered, and their willingness to accept us all factored into the decision as well). Even after enrolling, many people busied themselves with trying to find a different school to attend. This often was not the type of decision where we declare that this is the place we were meant to attend. Of course, lasting just a few years, we may not have had time to reach that emotional decision.
Most of us are not driving the first car we ever purchased although we may have had our current car for many years. With technological and safety improvements being made at a rapid pace, getting a new or newer car frequently is not such a bad idea.
So back to our original question of how people know when they have found their aging in place home – their forever or permanent home? Essentially, they just know. They may have consciously declared or affirmed that this is the home they want to stay in or that they don’t want anything else. They could just be living in with the quiet comfort that means that they no longer have to even think about moving. This home meets their needs physically, emotionally, and at other levels such as where it’s located or how it’s designed. Just as they knew when they had found their soul mate, they know that this is their last home. End of discussion, No point even devoting one second to thinking otherwise. Now, if they want, they can remodel or personalize their home, but this is their forever home.