Living alone isn’t something you typically plan for – it just happens. You may have been married for many years and had a house full of kids. Slowly the children went away to college, got married, and began a life on their own. You and your spouse were then officially “empty nesters.” Quite a change from a busy household full of children.
You and your spouse decided to live out your golden years in the family home because there were just too many memories to leave behind. The house was more than you needed, but between the two of you, upkeep was manageable. As the years quickly passed by, the worst thing happened – you lost your spouse. That’s when your life changed the most.
After a short time, your children, friends, and family began telling you that maybe you should sell the family home and move into a senior community, move in with your kids, or simply get a smaller place to live. Wait a minute – you had lived in your home for the majority of your adult life and it was your home. It was where you felt safe and comfortable most. You were not about to start all over again – not at your age.
Can you relate to all or part of this story? Is this the situation you’re in? Do you want to continue living independently in your own home? If so, you need to be able to perform these, as well as other, basic tasks around your home.
Maintaining Your Home
Sounds simple enough. Talk to the neighbor kid down the street to cut the grass and rake the leaves. Sound good right? For those tasks, that plan could work. But, what you really should do is find a capable friend or family member to walk around your home and make a list of maintenance items that need to be done throughout the year.
A good way to organize the list would be by season, and at a minimum, fall and spring. The list should contain everything from cleaning your gutters to changing the filters in your furnace. Also, be sure to think about shoveling your walk and salting your walk if you’re in a cold climate. You’ll also have to consider who will pick-up the salt throughout the winter. It’s less expensive to buy larger quantities, but heavier as well.
Don’t Forget About Personal Safety
Your personal safety is the most important thing. Don’t overlook things like:
- Medical Alert Monitoring Systems
- Smoke Detectors
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Fire Extinguishers
- Deadbolt Locks
- Security Lighting
- Interior Lights on Timers
- Overgrown Landscaping – it makes it easier for criminals to break-in
Cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping are also basic “must do” items that you’ll need to consider as well. If you’ve been in your neighborhood for many years, you will no doubt know which neighbors you could rely upon, if needed. There will also be many new faces that you may not know yet. Take a walk and meet a few of them. I’m sure your doctor would like that advice!