It seems like the majority of older women that seek support and community are women who have moved here from an area where they used to live, often from another part of the country. Women move for many reasons. They may be moving to downsize from a larger home or property to a smaller, more manageable house or property. Women, with or without a partner, may feel it is no longer possible to handle the responsibilities of maintaining a sizeable home or yard. Illness or other incapacities may necessitate a different and often more difficult to move, such as the move to an assisted living or other types of care facility.
Uprooting from a familiar part of the country to which a woman has had deep attachments can be traumatic, more for some women than others. Moving can also be exciting—a new adventure. It can feel positive if the reason for the move is to be closer to children, grandchildren or other members of the extended family. For some women, it may mean returning to a desirable place where she lived previously.
The impact of the move on the individual woman is tied to several factors. Probably the most important of these is whether the move occurs by choice or is not chosen and whether the woman perceives the move as desirable or undesirable. In addition, moving by oneself is usually more challenging than moving with a partner and moves occurring for reasons of health or disability are also more difficult.
Regardless of the reason for the move, moving is intrinsically challenging, both logistically and emotionally. Deciding when and where to move is the first challenge. Next, there is the dilemma of what type of housing to move into: houses, condos, rentals, patio homes, assisted living, and memory care facilities all come with different advantages and disadvantages and require different forms of adjustment. Emotionally, there is the difficult task of saying goodbye to a beloved home, friends, and community and figuring out how to make connections in a new place. And these are only a few of the challenges. Let’s discuss moving.
- Have you moved to a new city or community in the past 5-10 years or are you considering such a move?
- If so, what are your reasons for moving? Does it feel like a choice or a forced situation?
- If you have experienced a recent move, what have been the most positive and most difficult aspects of your moving experience so far?
- What do you feel are the primary psychological issues you are facing in relation to your most recent move?
- If you haven’t moved and are not planning to move, what feelings does this discussion evoke in you?