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Crossing bridges before you come to them?

(43 Posts)
Stainedglass Sat 11-Jun-16 15:03:05

We are in early 70s and have always loved living in our Victorian area, with family, friends, shops & transport nearby.

At present we don't need to leave here, but our home is not suitable for anyone disabled, and can't be converted. Most of the old houses are the same with steps everywhere and although we have looked for 3 years we can't find anywhere suitable we could afford around here.

I feel we ought to be sensible and move to outside the city where we could get a cheaper but suitable house and try and make a life, even though I would rather live here. DH thinks we are crossing bridges before we come to them. Wish I could sort out my feelings, my dad had a stroke and it was so hard when even getting a wheelchair out of his place became impossible. Anyone got any experience of similar or thoughts please?

pensionpat Sat 11-Jun-16 15:08:11

I think it would be sensible to cross the bridge before someone has to carry you over it. But I'm in no hurry either. Where's that crystal ball!

MiniMouse Sat 11-Jun-16 15:28:39

Stainedglass It's such a hard decision, but if you make the move now it will be on your terms - as much as is possible. If you leave it too late, it will be more of a panic situation and you won't have as much choice in the matter. I'd lived in one area all of my life, but a few years ago we moved miles out of the area (about thirty!) to somewhere flatter and within walking distance of buses, shops etc. Never been happier smile

M0nica Sat 11-Jun-16 16:13:28

I just have contigency plans for if/when disaster strikes and until then we continue as we are in a house we love, albeit not suitable for anyone disabled.

Charleygirl Sat 11-Jun-16 16:26:42

I agree that now may be the best time- you are in no hurry. If all of a sudden you had to move it may become a panic decision You may not make the best choice and may lose money as well.

I am lucky, I have been able to adapt my house to my needs. I do not think that I could live here alone if wheelchair bound but that day has not arrived yet.

NotTooOld Sat 11-Jun-16 16:35:57

Stainedglass - are you sure there's nothing you can do in terms of widening doorways, slopes instead of steps, putting in a downstairs bathroom, stair lift etc? I believe Age Concern will advise if you contact them. I'm not suggesting you do it now but if, as MOnica suggests, you have a contingency plan you would feel prepared should the necessity arise. It would also be cheaper than moving, I should think. Removal costs are very high.

YankeeGran Sat 11-Jun-16 16:43:29

DH and I are in our 70s and moved a couple of years ago into a retirement complex. Note: I said retirement complex, NOT care home. We downsized from a big 4 bed house to a small 2 bed flat simply because we wanted to be able to do it while we were able to make the decisions and do things on our terms. We looked at places in the countryside, but dismissed them as being impractical if we could no longer drive, so now we live in a delightful little town in Bucks where - if we must - we can walk to everything we need. We are still about the same distance from family but, unfortunately, have had to leave friends behind, though we do still see old friends often but obviously not as often as we used to.

Another reason to make the move while you're able is so that you can get out and get to know your new neighbourhood. Although we have a social life within the complex itself (which will be very useful as the years go by), we are both involved in local groups and volunteer in the town charity shops - good ways to get into the community.

In the past I was a reception volunteer for Age UK and I saw too many older people trapped in homes they could no longer look after or afford. They were lonely and isolated and overwhelmed. Fortunately My DH saw things in the same way I did and we have never been happier. Many here who are older than we are say that they wish they had done it sooner!

Thingmajig Sat 11-Jun-16 17:22:08

I can see your husbands point, but I favour your outlook. Yes, you may be lucky and both be able to live in your current house for the rest of your lives, but surely now is the best time to future-proof your living arrangements.

Do it now while you are still well and fit enough to be able to integrate yourselves in a new location. If the time comes when you need to cross the bridge, it may be too late for you to be able to make the move. Not to mention more difficult to contemplate.

We are currently looking to move home (age 62 and 57) and want it to be somewhere we could potentially live into our dotage.

rosesarered Sat 11-Jun-16 17:48:48

Do the move while you still can,for all the reasons given.Getting older quite often involves falls never mind a stroke, so the less stairs the better.

Ana Sat 11-Jun-16 17:52:29

And don't forget your house may not sell as quickly as you think, depending on the area you live in of course. I've been trying to downsize for over a year, had two sales fall through and no current interest...

Iam64 Sat 11-Jun-16 18:13:14

Yes, move while you're fit enough to deal with all that moving entails. Many areas like the one you live in are building/developing retirement apartments. Victorian houses are lovely but as you say, not ideal for conversion, which is very expensive.

Grannyben Sat 11-Jun-16 18:32:21

My dearest dad loved his home and always said he would be carried out feet first. Unfortunately illness got in the way and, after he was admitted to hospital, he was told that he should not return to his home as it was too unsuitable for him. Dad did not want to live with me and I couldn't move to be with him (at the time I had small children). In the end he went into a nursing home. I know that if dad had thought about it earlier, he would have moved to a suitable home whilst he was still well enough

FarNorth Sat 11-Jun-16 19:31:03

My FiL didn't want to move but had it forced on him by a sudden deterioration in health. Luckily he was able to get a retirement flat with care available if required and was very happy there for his last years.
Also luckily, he had family who arranged this for him and organised clearing and selling his house. He would have been completely unable to do all that on his own so would have had to rely on the tender mercies of social services.

I'd say, at least make enquiries about changes you can make to your lovely Victorian home. Be prepared!

Deedaa Sat 11-Jun-16 22:18:34

I would start looking around now, but not rush into a move because you feel you should. Take your time and you may find somewhere you love

harrigran Sat 11-Jun-16 22:30:33

I think, if you can afford it, I would get some very good advice and make alterations to the home you love. We did a lot of work on our house and I never want to move, I would make alterations rather than move.

goose1964 Sun 12-Jun-16 09:14:54

are you certain that either of you will become disabled, my gran lived in a little 2 up 2 down with narrow stairs into her 90s. She only stopped using the upstairs a few months before she died when her cancer really started affecting her.

On the other hand, I have arthritis in my hip & due to my age I will be unable to use stairs before I'm old enough for a hip replacement so I need to think about these things

grandMattie Sun 12-Jun-16 09:50:29

We moved about 4 years ago, just before DH2s 70th birthday. I had threatened to leave him if we hadn't moved by then... grin
We lived in a 5 bed house with 2 acres of land. The garden was getting too much, there was only one bus a week apart from that.
Having seen too many wrinklies pushed into moving house, I was determined to move at my own terms, when we were young enough to settle in and make friends, or at least links with our new house.
we are now very happy - a move is always extremely painful. We live on the outskirts of a delightful medieval town in SE England. Once DH has stopped mourning his garden, he is happy and well settled in. We have bus, train and taxis within 5 minutes walk, ditto small supermarket, doctor, dentist and other facilities.
We have never regretted our move, though I cried lakes over the things I had to get rid of/sell/give to charities. One had to be adaptable.
Go for it, Stainedglass. Go while you are still adaptable; you don't know what life will throw at you later...

grandMattie Sun 12-Jun-16 09:51:13

Whoops - only one bus a week, apart form the daily "workers'" bus.

JennyB Sun 12-Jun-16 09:52:30

We downsized 2 years ago, leaving a 5 bed Edwardian house for a newish 2 bed 2 bathroom house, about 5 streets away from our old house. Everything is much more convenient and we can either walk to the tube or have a choice of 3 buses for the 5 min ride. We have restaurants a 2 shops very close by. We travel a lot and are out 4 nights out of 7, our garden takes very little upkeep and we can spend our time enjoying ourselves, hopefully we can live here until we are doddery. What I would say is the move is tiring, for lots of reasons, sorting through possessions and deciding where to go etc, so do it while you are fit and strong, we were 61 and 68 and we were v tired by the end. Fighting fit now though, thankfully. Good luck city with what ever you d cide, Stainedglass

JennyB Sun 12-Jun-16 09:53:57

Not sure what went wrong there, and where city came from

hulahoop Sun 12-Jun-16 09:58:07

I would like to move into retirement complex unfortunately they are more expensive than our house is worth so we are stuck but I would say do it while you can . Good luck

silverlining48 Sun 12-Jun-16 10:08:08

as people have said best to do it on your terms than be pushed. However there's always the chance that you may not need to go, but in my working life I came across many who were having to live on one floor, generally upstairs ,for access to the bathroom and then being forced to move usually to a flat but wishing they had got a bungalow when they had the chance. Good luck, it's not an easy one.
Nb if living on one floor because of mobility it used to be possible to get a council tax reduction.worth checking out for anyone in that position.

prefect Sun 12-Jun-16 10:22:19

We (late 60's/early 70's) are working on a three year plan to clear and prepare the house (5 bed terrace) to sell. Hope to move to something smaller within the same city. Ill health or worse can strike quite suddenly as we have seen among our friends, and we are both keen that we are settled in some place that either one of us would be (reasonably) happy to be in on our own. The hardest thing is getting our offspring to get rid of or remove all the 'stuff' they have left in our basement - we will have to, at some point, insist it all goes, but we not at that point yet.
We may continue happy and well for many years to come, but moving is exhausting and stressful and we would rather do things in a measured and manageable way now than have to cope when older, frailer and coping with a burning bridge!

Swanny Sun 12-Jun-16 10:22:57

Go for it Stainedglass. Recovering from a nasty illness 8 years ago I realised my nearest family lived 50 and 70 miles away and my job was the only thing keeping me where I was. As I was old enough to retire I started looking for somewhere near my DS. I'd always said I would move to sheltered accommodation while I could before I had to and was lucky enough to find just what I wanted. Thought I might miss living on the coast but don't, and I've made lots of new friends and have a busier social life than I've had for years! The big plus for me is that I see a lot more of my DS and DGS than if I'd stayed where I was.

Jaycee5 Sun 12-Jun-16 10:51:45

This is very difficult. You don't want to have to make a crisis move and it is impossible to know when that stage might be reached, if at all.

I think you should just keep looking so that when you do feel the time is right you are at least armed with information.

It's one of those questions which doesn't really have a right answer. Early 70s is relatively young and it might be worth waiting until DH feels more amenable to moving. Trying to guess what the future might bring is frustrating.