Downsizing for retirement

“Many people have a junk drawer, but I have a junk ROOM…and a garage…and an attic. My husband and I have been in this house for 38 years. The house is too big, it’s expensive to heat and I’m so tired of cleaning two and a half bathrooms. The time has come to retire and downsize- but how can I throw out these adorable Valentine’s that Johnny made 25 years ago…and where do I start?”

When families or retirees first talk with us about joining our LifeCare community, it doesn’t take long for the conversation to turn to downsizing. “What will we do with everything in the house?” they wonder aloud. We know the idea of moving can be overwhelming. That’s why we bring in professionals from time to time to talk about things like moving and downsizing. Such programs really help attendees focus on ways to simplify what seems like an impossible task. The advice often includes:

  • Use a checklist to keep track of important items, tasks, and reminders.
  • Sort items according to categories like “keep,” “give away,” “donate,” and “sell.”
  • Use a calendar to plan activities and milestones well in advance.
  • Enlist help of family and friends!

Is moving a big job? Of course it is, but it’s not impossible! Planning ahead and taking one step at a time can ease the stress and make the move less difficult. Once it’s done, you’ll likely discover what so many of our residents know: retirement is the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy the simple things in life.

As always, we’re here for you and are happy to answer your questions about aging well.

Joan Maher

Joan Maher

Supervisor of Residential Activities at Holy Redeemer Lafayette
Joan’s life mantra? Find those things you are most passionate about in life, because when you do, you can’t wait to start your day.

As the supervisor of residential activities at Holy Redeemer Lafayette for the past 25 years, Joan has done just that. She organizes events ranging from Wii bowling to casino night to red carpet night to celebrate the Oscars. And every day when she comes to work, the residents compliment her on how great the entertainment was the night before. Joan feels blessed when she sees the smiles and laugher from everyone around her, and is grateful for the opportunity she’s had to make a difference in their lives.

Joan earned her bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Penn State University. Out of college, she developed a unique sand candle, and her entrepreneurial spirit led her all over the east coast. But her passion for life didn’t stop there. Today, Joan has four grown children and three grandchildren, and just two years ago, she adopted a beautiful, six-year-old little girl named Sophia. In her free time, Joan enjoys skiing in the winter and playing tennis during the summer.

So how do you find your passion? According to Joan, “Find something that makes you happy. Don’t be afraid to try new things—to be adventuresome. Have things to look forward to—anticipation adds to the experience. Share your stories—reliving those memories will keep you smiling.”
Joan Maher

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