“We Don’t Need To Schedule Aging In Place”

Looking at our calendar and noting a couple of possible dates – and then pinpointing the target date – to begin aging in place is not the typical way we approach our decision to remain in our homes long-term.


We depend on our day planner

So many of us have worked with calendars and day planners (paper versions and online) and various other time managers and scheduling platforms (including Blackberries, PDAs, and smartphones) over the years. We find it to be a necessary and essential way to manage our time and to make sure that we don’t miss any important meetings, appointments, phone calls, conferences, or deadlines.

In fact, we can create an instant panic for ourselves if we misplace or lose our calendar, phone, or day timer – or we lose part of our history online. This is how much we depend on it. We have gotten so busy and so overly booked with back-to-back-to-back meetings, calls, and appointments that it’s hard to keep them straight without some type of organizational tool.

While some of us can remember what meeting is scheduled for a particular time or day, as well as some of the details to be covered, many of us cannot. That’s why we write them done on paper or electronically.

Forget the day planner

While we have various capacities and abilities to remember and recall what meetings or events are scheduled for what day and time, most of us find that writing them down in some fashion is the best way to recall them and make sure we honor them. Occasionally we forget to look at our calendars and agree to a meeting or phone call at a time we already have one scheduled with someone else. Whoops!

Worse yet is agreeing to two meetings at different locations that can’t possibly both be honored.

That said, many of us schedule time off, holidays, family vacations, birthdays, anniversaries, and other important events that really require no such designation on our calendars because we are quite aware of them. The reminders are mainly for show – to remind us and anyone else looking at our calendar that we have important personal commitments on those days that supersede any business appointments.

We know those dates (at least the recurring ones) without the help of the calendar or planner. One-time vacations at a time of year or location that we don’t typically do, or special events, might need to be noted just to make sure that we don’t book anything else during those dates.

A red-letter day

A so-called red-letter day is one that we note on our calendar because of its very special significance – a one-year, five-year, ten-year, or other anniversary of employment or a relationship, or a milestone birthday of a loved one (such as 16, 21, 25, or 30).

Some of us may have our retirement noted in such a fashion – maybe one that we know and anticipate but that we don’t share with the world. However, many people are not officially retiring from their companies or current positions as they did in the past. There was a time when people would count the years, months, and days until their retirement – whether it was because they really didn’t like where they were working, or the idea of working a regular job was not as appealing as having time for themselves to use as they liked.

Aging in place needs no scheduling

As we reach that point in life – whether it’s very early on such as in our twenties or much later in our fifties, sixties, or seventies – when we know that we want to remain in our current home for the rest of our lives, we have acknowledged what has been occurring anyway. We are, and we have been, aging in place. Did we mark that decision date on the calendar weeks, months, or even a few years earlier? Likely, there was no such flagging of a particular day. It just happened.

Mostly, aging in place happens gradually as people realize that they like the home and neighborhood where they have been lively and desire to continue living there. They don’t need a change in scenery. While they may want to make some modifications to their home to make it better for their current situation, moving is not something they are considering. They are committed to staying where they are long-term.

Unlike graduation from high school or college, a milestone anniversary or birthday, or a cruise or special vacation, the date we plan on deciding to remain where we are and continue aging in place is not something we mark on the calendar and schedule. Usually, it’s not a specific date anyway.

We enjoy aging in place, but most of us cannot point to the exact date when we first noticed that we wanted to do this or that it was happening. Therefore, aging in place is not something that needs to be calendared or scheduled. This doesn’t diminish the significance of it. It just is unnecessary.

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