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Senior Moments: Moving and quality of life

Moving and quality of life
Scott Bennett

In our highly mobile society many of us find ourselves moving a number of times, whether it is local or distant. Once we hit our 60’s and older there are often other moves, for example downsizing our residence, or moving away to a warmer state. All moves mean transitioning from one setting to another. Whatever the transition and reason, there are important things to consider.

Why are you moving? It is important to take the time necessary to ensure that any decision to move is carefully thought out. Hasty decisions can result in result in ending up in a less-than-ideal situation. No matter what the urgency, there is time to decide carefully.

What are your needs and desires? If you are sure of the need to move, you still need to be clear on what you expect at the new location. This means being aware of what is important in your current life. For example, if your social circle is important, this must be addressed. Moving may mean leaving your social circle. What will this mean to you? There is any number of things to consider. Make a list and prioritize the items on it.

Where will you move? Once you are clear about why and what, it is time to consider where. Where will be determined by the why and what. There may be obvious choices, but they should be examined thoroughly. For instance, if you are moving because you cannot tolerate New Jersey winters any more, then moving to the South may make sense. But bear in mind that the South is not the Northeast. There are major cultural differences between cultural regions even nowadays. Perhaps there is a closer location which is warmer, but still offers what you know and love. It is important to evaluate locations very carefully. Learn as much as you can about where you are considering moving.

When will you move? Unless there is a real urgency, taking your time is best. Moving may mean selling your house. Depending on the market the sales process can take a long time. And you may be buying somewhere else. Moving may mean downsizing. Hastily downsizing can lose you money. Being rushed is never a good place to be, especially in such a significant situation.

Who has to be part of your move? Certainly, family and friends need to be told sooner than later, but who else? And when?

How do you do the move? There always are number of logistical pieces which have to be in place for a successful move. Moves always involve stress, but, if planned carefully, the move can be relatively stress-free.

Once at a new location there is the work of settling in. Some of the tasks are evident (unpacking, arranging for utilities, finding your way around) and others are not (finding a new social circle, what support services are available ). If done right, the what and where have already addressed some of these points before the move.

This article is a high-level view of the issues around moving. To hear more and to share your views and questions, come to the Transitioning & Quality of Life workshop offered by Senior Ministries at Diocesan Convention, 5:15 PM on January 26 at the Parsippany Hilton.

Questions? Contact Senior Ministries at