Senior Moves and the Compelling Power of Family

We see a number of seniors from metropolitan areas migrating to retire in the Niagara region. We also see some local seniors move out and sometimes move back to be closer to family, friends and familiar surroundings.

Family brought this couple back from a dream location

Here is what they said. “A couple of years ago we sold our home and moved to Florida. We have vacationed there for years and always dreamed of retiring there. We currently live in a retirement community, have made lots of friends and enjoy lots of social activities.

“Yet we miss our two children and four grandchildren. Oh, we see them two or three times a year but that’s not even near enough. We’ve come to realize that family is more important to us then living in our dream location.”  

Moving in with family didn’t work out as expected

This couple sold their home in Niagara and moved into a new home in Toronto with their daughter and her family. Living together, they could enjoy their grandchildren more and down the road, should health issues develop; the daughter would be there to help care for them.

They loved their daughter and grandchildren but soon realized that once their children had grown up and moved away, they had gotten used to a quieter lifestyle. Living in the midst of two other adults and two young ones proved stressful. They also sensed they were encroaching on the lives of their daughter’s family and felt a personal loss of independence. It was better when they would visit and then get to go home to their own place and space.

To boot, they felt like strangers in a strange land. Not knowing anyone, and with people’s lives being so busy, meeting new people was difficult. People preferred to mingle and huddle with their established circle of acquaintances. How they missed visiting, playing cards and socializing with their own long-time friends. In Niagara, they were comfortable with familiar surroundings and, wherever they went, would typically greet and chat with people they knew, whether shopping, taking a walk or frequenting one of their favourite restaurants. Living in a highly populated metropolitan area was too busy, too noisy and quite chaotic for them. Two years later, the couple moved back to Niagara.

Moving back was not an option for this couple

A third senior couple sold their home in the Niagara area and moved to Hamilton, again to be closer to their only daughter and family. They rented an apartment within walking distance to the daughter until the new condo they purchased was completed. Within a couple of months the man became agitated and irritable. He felt cooped up and missed working around his yard and garden; something that always gave him pleasure and solace; it was meditative for him.

Yet they loved living close to their only family so moving back was no option. He started gardening around the daughter’s home and, as it turned out, the son-in-law welcomed the help. He often worked long hours and yard work only added to the weekly stress—problem solved.  

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