It’s time to Find a New Home
Finding a new home is not easy with a shortage of “affordable” houses in Australia. It is more difficult if one is not in the workforce and is a senior member of the house-hunting cohort. Since I left my husband nearly 10 years ago, I have had many challenges with this part of my life.
Most of the time I have been house sitting, but last year a health issue forced me into a rental unit. It is health and other issues that are forcing me to look for a new home now.
It is not easy – especially for a solo senior person. I can attest to that.
There is No Senior Housing Support
If someone is healthy and wealthy there are many seniors places to explore – and if and when one finds a suitable property there is quite a deal of support to help you get settled. But if you don’t have a lot of $$$$$’s you might just go on the merry go round that I have been over the past few weeks.
I have had several meeting with the department of housing offices. Recently I submitted documents to an office on the south side of the river, which is where I want to move to. They told me to go to the office north of the river, as that is where I lived. They told me to go to the south side office. When I phoned them they were of little value as they said I should be talking with those on the northside!!! How helpful are they??
Real Estate Websites
I have been checking every day, but I find the information about the properties rather vague. When one phones the agent I get different messages.
- This phone number is disconnected.
- That property is no long available – we’ve asked the agent to take it off the site a few weeks ago.
- An appointment was made with an agent, who did not turn up at the property at the appointed time, and didn’t answer my calls.
What do Seniors Want?
Everyone is different. What I like or wish will be different to what others want.
- kitchenette – preferably a kitchen. (I like to do some cooking)
- plenty of wardrobe and cupboard space
- good security
- no stairs
- car port or garage close to the home
- I like my own bed – a queen size preferably
- space to walk around IN the apartment.
I want to be able to live comfortably with as many as my own things as possible.
I have explored these. Many have tiny apartments, some furnished but with very limited space of any sort. One I was going to look at, until I found out, that I would have to have a single bed. Eeek. I am tall and don’t fit well into one of these. Also most provide 3 meals a day – it is in the rent. I am seldom home – would probably only make it for 3 days a week. And I’m a fussy eater. Not happy with that. But with no kitchen I’ d have little choice.
Car? I would probably not be able to afford to keep mine. And I’m not ready to give it up.
I’m Not Old Enough – Funny Story
I went to one “Retirement Village” just to see what they had to offer. As I walked to the office, an elderly woman on a “motorised chair” appeared and told me to leave. “This place is only for Retired People” she said, before zooming off towards the exit of the property. I was a bit shocked!
Shortly I was talking with a resident and the lady appeared again. I can’t remember exactly what she said to me. Clearly though I was not welcome. I asked her politely to tell me how old she thought I was. She stood and looked me up and down, and said “Aboout 54.” I had to laugh She was about 20 years “out” so I just chuckled and thanked her!!!
The reality is that despite my age, I look and sound younger, and am not ready to share my dining table with people who clearly appear to be older than me. I’m not ready to give up my life and do nothing but eat my prepared meals in the dining room, and then head back to my apartment to sleep or watch television.
Does Living in Retirement Homes Hasten Ageing?
That is something that now makes me think. I wonder if anyone is doing research on this? It is like living in a box in the line waiting for the end.