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Settling in to Your New Home In Retirement

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 12 Apr 2013 | comments*Discuss
Settling Into Your New Home In

Settling into your new home in retirement is going to be very different depending on the kind of transition you’ve made. Even when you move earlier in life, it can take some time to adapt to new living conditions even when you’ve just bought the house of your dreams but in retirement, this is often even more challenging as in some cases, you may be moving abroad with all the challenges that presents or you may be moving into some kind of sheltered or assisted living accommodation or may have even decided to sell up and move into a smaller property. Wherever you’ve move to, settling into your new home is going to take time and it’s likely that you’re going to need to make certain adjustments in order to feel as comfortable and as ‘at home’ as you can. Here are some examples of what you might be faced with.

Downsizing To A Smaller Property

If you’ve decided to downsize to a smaller house, it may mean that whilst this makes perfect sense if your previous house was a family home and is now too big for you on your own or just with your spouse, you may find that you need to get rid of some of the possessions that you’ve accrued over time in your previous home. It may also take some adjusting to living as a couple in a smaller property. Initially, you might feel as though you’re living on top of each other and there’s simply not enough room in which to retreat into your own little private space now and again. However, often it’s simply a matter of re-adjusting and making space for your private time.

Sheltered Housing And Assisted Living

If you or your spouse have moved into this kind of accommodation in order to benefit from additional help with mobility and care issues, it will inevitably take a little time for you to get used to the idea of needing assistance and, no doubt, you may find it hard at first to accept that you require additional help with certain aspects of your everyday life and you might even start to question your own sense of feeling independent. These feelings should subside after a while as you become accustomed to receiving help and, in fact, after a while, you’ll probably be grateful for the assistance and even end up establishing a close knit bond with your care providers.

Residential Care Homes

Readjusting to life in a residential care home will possibly present you with your biggest challenge of all as it’s most likely that you have come to live in such an establishment because you’re not able to look after yourself anymore. For most people, this represents the shattering realisation that they no longer have their complete independence and have to rely on others. Coping with the readjustment is easier if you’re able to accept the fact that you’re going to be far better off in terms of your own well-being and feelings of security safe in the knowledge that you’re surrounded by professional care workers who are there to help you and that you’re best placed should your condition ever deteriorate. Furthermore, if you approach such a move positively, there’s every chance that you’ll meet like-minded people and strike up new friendships and establish new interests.

Moving Abroad

Depending on where you decide to settle overseas, you might be faced with language barriers, getting used to foreign customs, perhaps it will also take you longer to adapt to a different climate and there may be any number of administrative or bureaucratic issues that you need to get to grips with. You may find it difficult to maintain a feeling of close knit support from extended family members who might be miles away and you’ll probably need to try to establish a new set of friends so that you feel part of the community.

The one thing in common with whichever type of living accommodation you choose to live in when you retire is that you’ll need time to readjust and to gain a sense of your new accommodation feeling like it’s ‘home’ to you. Perhaps, in certain circumstances, you’ll never feel as though it truly feels like home but with your own efforts and by maintaining a positive mindset, it is possible to adapt to new living conditions and, over time, even for those who have been reluctant in making the initial transition, they soon come to realise that the decision which they took in relocating turns out to be the right decision in hindsight.

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