We must consider the emotional influence of decisions around care. A survey conducted by Just Group PLC stated that 83% of over 75’s surveyed had not thought about, discussed with family or planned for care. The main reason for this lack of discussion was cited that the thought of care was just too depressing. Suggesting that someone leave their family home, where they have raised their children and potentially welcomed their grandchildren, is a huge tug of the heart strings. Our homes are made by the people in them and how the environment makes us feel, not the actual bricks and mortar. Throughout life we live in a home that is relative to our needs, so why does that stop being the case when we hit retirement? We need to recognise that the elderly would have more fulfilling and productive lives if the worry, stress and physical maintenance of such properties were no longer their concern. Perhaps we should consider if downsizing is even the correct terminology? Maybe we need to think of it as ‘right-sizing’.
Practicality also restricts such moves. There are often physical limits stopping the process. How does an 80 year old climb into the loft and sift through the Christmas decorations? Slowly the recognition by companies that are able to provide such a service is growing. As with the added value service that removal companies provide, offering to pack everything securely, transport and then unpack at your new home, so can a decluttering service be utilised. McCarthy & Stone offer a service called ‘Smooth Move’ which covers specialist removals, decluttering, DIY in the new home, contributions to estate agent fees and legal fees purely for people moving into one of their retirement properties.
Ernie Graham, Owner of Graham Care stated in our interview for a previous white paper: “…most people want to be free of the maintenance of their big homes and gardens, want more security which these types of properties can give. Care needs to be in the background, and it needs to build community around extra services”.
The switch of emotions by releasing old feelings towards bricks and mortar, and then recognising the benefits that can be achieved simply by moving home, are huge.
Read more in our last white paper around all influences to moving into the care environment.