I guess the questions, “When are you moving?” or “When are you selling your house?” are asked so often because people may be nervous about what to say around you so they end up blurting out questions like these. Or maybe the questions are asked because it’s hard for them to imagine that someone would voluntarily continue to live in a place they once shared with someone who is now gone. Either way, newly-widowed persons are usually counseled to wait at least a year before making any life changing decisions, such as housing arrangements, unless financial circumstances dictate for them to do otherwise.
Unfortunately, finances can drastically change after a death in the family. When a spouse dies and the other person cannot afford to maintain the current housing arrangement it is a double dose of sadness. When this happens, the person who is already in the throes of trying to deal with the emotional ups and downs of losing a loved one then gets hit again by the reality of their new financial circumstances. They have no choice but to move from the place they know as home, the place where they lived with the deceased person and shared a life. Talk about stressed out!
Where to re-locate and live after a spouse’s death is a dicey subject because you already feel vulnerable and the future is unknown. Choosing among the options of independent living, assisted living or continuing care communities is not simple. If there were only a Guide Book For A Happy Life where you could look up this kind of situation and it would give you the answer. Wouldn’t that be great?
I think it comes down to you deciding to do what you think is best for you and your particular needs. Depending on your age, whether you work or not, the ages of your children, if you have any, your hobbies and interests, you have a lot of things to think about if you are considering a move. Other options could include an invitation from your grown children to come live with them, or a move to a senior community to socialize with your age group and take advantage of the additional health and medical resources. Of course, if it’s at all possible, aging in your current place of residence can also be a very desirable goal.
Sibley Hospital/Widowed Persons Outreach Seminar on Options for Housing Alternatives
Presenter: Deborah Rubenstein, MSW, LICSW; Ms. Rubenstein is a clinical worker, attorney and Director of Consultation, Care Management and Couseling Services at IONA Senior Services, a community organization dedicated to supporting people as they experience the challenges and opportunities of aging. She has over 15 years of experience as a geriatric care manager and psychotherapist working with older adults and their families.
When: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 @ 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Where: IONA Senior Services, 4125 Albemarle Street, NW, Washington, DC 20016 (one block from the Tenleytown/AU Metro Stop on the Red Line; http://www.iona.org/ or 202-895-9448.
Fee: No Charge
Contact: If you are planning to attend, please contact Ken Gordon, President, Widowed Persons Outreach, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org