The holidays are over. For many of us, the preparation and chaos that go along with the season are about to be replaced by the packing up of decorations. January gives us time to refocus, relax and get back into the comfortable, well-known pace of our daily lives.
In January I am reminded that all the little things that have to be done before the holidays can make us lose sight of what’s important. The true meaning of the holidays is about the relationships we have in our lives, not the material things, regardless of the hours that we spend shopping for that perfect gift.
Whether hosting family and friends or traveling to visit loved ones, the preparation takes effort. Cleaning the house and doing yard work can be a huge distraction; plus appliances only seem to break at the most inconvenient times.
The holidays and the idea of homeownership always bring me back to a conversation I have with potential residents: Do you own your house? Or does your house own you?
People often describe the joy of homeownership. Instead I would offer that not owning a home can deliver more freedom: the freedom to travel, the freedom to escape the drudgery of maintaining a yard, the freedom to spend valuable time with loved ones.
Residents at Brightmore of Wilmington or Carolina Bay at Autumn Hall never have to mow the grass or worry about maintaining their homes. If something breaks, they just call the on-site maintenance department. Moreover, the residents in the Independent Living communities receive weekly housekeeping services and one meal per day. Residents of the assisted living and memory care communities get three meals a day and many other amenities.
It makes me wonder why people don’t jump at the chance to be a resident, especially considering the scheduled transportation services, flexible meal times and menus, library and fitness center. Carolina Bay is particularly exciting, since it will have independent living, assisted living, memory care, rehabilitation and skilled care facilities when it’s done.
Typically, people say that homeownership is a symbol of personal independence, and that continuing care retirement communities are too expensive.
The notion that cost is a barrier is a misconception, but I’ll go into more detail about that in a future article. Regarding homeownership, however, I think owning a home can be a burden. Not owning a home creates an opportunity to pursue new interests, learn and explore, travel to new places or relax in our favorite destinations. I’ve also heard many residents describe the newfound sense of freedom they have found after cashing in on a lifetime’s worth of equity.
A person’s entire identity can become inexorably tied to a house, which is really just an inanimate object in the scheme of things. Letting go of the objects that own us can deliver a higher level of personal freedom and more time to spend with our loved ones, working on the relationships that matter the most.
Cindy Stancil is President of Liberty Senior Living Management Services, LLC. Leveraging 30 years of experience in senior and assisted living, Stancil manages operations at four senior living campuses under the Liberty Senior Living umbrella, including Brightmore of Wilmington, Carolina Bay at Autumn Hall, and Kempton of Wilmington. Liberty Senior Living Management Services LLC is a division of Liberty Healthcare Companies, a locally owned and operated company that provides a comprehensive approach to patient care. To learn more, contact Cindy Stancil at 910-332-1783, by email at [email protected], or visit www.BrightmoreofWilmington.com.
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