Q: I read your column about the couple who wanted to downsize and find a new residence. I also will be retiring soon but unlike the other couple I am thinking of relocating out of state. All of my family live in other areas of the country and it would be good to be closer to them once I leave my job. Are there things I should consider when looking at places to put down new roots?
A: When someone is relocating to a new area they may have varying specifications depending upon their phase of life. Families with young children might focus on a good school district, large yards for the kids to play in, neighbors who have children of a similar age and a reasonable commute to their job. Older adults generally have or should have a totally different criteria list.
When looking at new locations attempt to determine if the community will meet your current needs as well as those that may occur in the near future. Transportation: You may be perfectly capable of driving now but what if you have to give this up at a later time. Find out if the residence is on a bus route, are there taxi companies operating in the area or are there volunteer driver programs available. Amenities: For convenience sake make sure grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and drug stores are nearby.
One essential consideration relates to medical services. Hospitals, physician offices and dental services should be located in a close proximity. You will need to find out if your medical insurance is accepted in the area and if not find out what policies would offer you sufficient coverage.
It will be important to find out if the community would offer you opportunities to build a new social network. Do research on senior centers, adult education programs and other places older adults would typically gather. Visit the local chamber of commerce to find out what they are aware of in the community for someone in your age group. Consider volunteering and check with the local area agency on aging to find out where you might donate your time — this is always a place to meet new people. If you are a person of faith find a new place to worship.
Are you struggling caring for an older adult or having difficulty locating resources? Our staff is available for a no-cost consultation, set up at your convenience, to help guide you through your caregiving experience. For more details or to schedule an appointment, please call 800-892-0890.
Do you have a question? We encourage inquiries and comments from our readers. Please direct your correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org or Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc., Age Information Department, 280 Merrimack Street, Suite 400, Lawrence, MA 01843. Joan Hatem-Roy is the Chief Executive Officer of Elder Services.