Housing and Maintenance

Q. “Their home is too much for them to care for and it shows. They say they don’t want to move.”

A. What is the attachment for some people to a particular house or an apartment? For many older adults, it’s that their home is familiar and comfortable. They may not even notice a lack of cleanliness, safety hazards or serious maintenance problems. They may not realize it’s become too much for them and a move could help.


They may be afraid of moving to an unfamiliar area, making new friends, learning where to shop and how to get around. They may be afraid of the financial impact of uprooting themselves. If they own their own home, and they have less than when they were younger, letting go of it can frighten many people.


Questions to ask yourself: 
  • Why do they want to stay in this home?
  • What needs to be done so they can stay in their house?
  • If it makes sense for them to move out, what are their fears?
  • Are there suitable places for them to live?
Helpful Tips: Tell them what you’re worried about. For example, “We’re concerned the housework and upkeep is wearing you out, and you’re getting sore.”  Look for local services that will allow them to stay put for as long as possible. Begin discussing possible future alternatives and make some visits. How can family and friends pitch in?

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