Phil Usher has been part of the aged-care sector for almost 20 years. Here, he gives us an insight into this opportunity to simplify your life and free yourself in your later years.
A Brand New Adventure: Don’t Doubt Downsizing
So, you’re downsizing. You’ve reached that inevitable next phase in life to simplify, de-clutter and take stock of what’s really important to you. But don’t fret, downsizing can also mean that a whole new adventure is on the cards!
To some, the prospect of downsizing can evoke uncertainty or fear. This big change in life can be more akin to pulling teeth, or getting cornered into a gruelling timeshare presentation. But downsizing doesn’t have to dampen your spirits or create unnecessary worries – in fact, it should be the exact opposite!
First and foremost, you need to change your mindset and see downsizing as an opportunity for a new beginning, because that is exactly what it is. It should be viewed as a new era; one we should encourage ourselves and our loved ones to approach with zest and excitement.
Odyssey Residents: Don’t Doubt Downsizing
The people we see at Odyssey often feel a little daunted and overwhelmed with the idea of moving from a large home into a smaller setting. And of course, it is difficult when you or a loved one has been in the same house for many years and then it’s time for the next stage. But it’s also important to feel comfortable with the process.
Life is full of stuff and most of us spend a significant amount of time accumulating bits and bobs over the years to remind us where we’ve been, what we’ve seen and who we love. But as we age, clutter can become an issue, creating trip hazards, and making it difficult to find things.
When you start to declutter, don’t view this as a painful departing process, but instead see it as a way to empower either ourselves or our loved ones with choice and control. It’s often thought that our children or grandchildren will want to hold onto various items, but sadly and unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Don’t Doubt Downsizing, Pick Out Items Close to Your Heart
Hold onto the things that have meaning, whether it’s family pictures, a favourite reading chair or a few items that hold special memories. Everything else is mostly just ‘things’. A general rule to follow is, if it hasn’t been used in six months, it’s probably not needed.
One of the best things about downsizing is the ease of living in a low-maintenance environment. While it can be challenging to adjust to a new schedule and a whole new lifestyle, it’s always a pleasant surprise to have more freedom and time to do the things you love.
Whether it be spending more quality time with family and friends or engaging in new social activities, downsizing is a chapter of life that should not cause angst. It truly is a time for you to live your best life, and perhaps take up a new hobby that you didn’t have the time for before. Downsizing can bring out a whole new era of self-discovery for you that maximises the most essential elements of life – having fun and being happy and healthy.
When considering your new space, identify the things that are important to you. Things like access to quality care, remaining independent, maintaining a sense of control, living in a petfriendly setting, and being able to bond with those you love.
Choosing the Correct Location
Choose somewhere that aligns with your values, what you want, and what kind of lifestyle you want to maintain. You want to be able to focus on continuing life as normal as possible in a great atmosphere – while feeling safe and secure about where you live. My whole goal is to ensure that Odyssey Lifestyle Care Communities combine the best of retirement resort community living with first-class care built in.
Remember, the moral to the story is to change the way we see downsizing. Don’t doubt downsizing. It’s a new beginning and something you can take on with a smile and excitement. It’s about decluttering, but also about experiencing something new – a space where you’re comfortable, safe and happy. ■
For more of Phil’s insights, and the opportunity to ask questions, check out odysseycommunities.com.au.
PHIL USHER has been part of the aged care sector for almost 20 years. He has a keen understanding of what seniors want when it comes to living out their twilight years on their own terms.
Phil’s Mum, who passed away from dementia-related complications, was the driving force behind why he’s created an alternative to traditional aged care. When considering aged care for her, Phil couldn’t find a place that offered her the kind of life she wanted. So he made improving aged care his odyssey. If it’s not good enough for the people Phil loves, it’s simply not good enough.
Phil’s determination to create the best alternative to aged-care led to a fresh, heart-centred approach known as a Lifestyle Care Community. At Odyssey the power is given back to residents. People are put first, they have their own home in a lifestyle-orientated community, couples stay together, pets are welcome, grandkids have sleepovers and most importantly – comfort, dignity and independence are the first priorities.
Click here, to know more about the lifestyle of silver citizens.
Editor for Silver Magazine Gold Coast