by Growing Needs | May 9, 2023 | A Better Tomorrow, Housing
Though Singapore is a relatively young country, Singapore’s population is ageing rapidly. The proportion of citizens aged 65 and above increased to 18.4 per cent in 2022. It is estimated that around a third of Singaporeans will be age 65 & above by 2035. It will be a fact that more and more elderly are staying in homes that may no longer fit their needs as changing homes are uncommon among many Singaporean.
Elderly might find themselves living in houses that are either too big for their current needs, or some may be living in cramped and cluttered apartments. Whatever the case may be, right-sizing your current property at the right time will certainly bring about many benefits and improve your quality of life in your golden years.
Here are 6 benefits of right-sizing:
Right-sizing your current property can bring about an improved quality of life. Moving to a more suitable home can alleviate many of the physical and emotional stresses that come with living in a property that is no longer suitable for your needs. By moving to a home that is easily accessible, it enables you to move around easily and perform daily activities without stress. Similarly, moving to a smaller home can reduce the burden of maintaining a large property which usually comes with higher costs such as higher maintenance fee, gardening, pest control etc…
Mr & Mrs. Tan, who lived in a double-storey terrace house in Telok Kurau for over 30 years. Due to mobility issue, they found it increasingly difficult to climb the stairs as they aged. They decided to sell off their terrace house and moved into a smaller apartment within the same estate. With their decision to right-size, they no longer had to deal with the burden of navigating stairs and was able to enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle and it gives their family members a piece of mind too.
Right-sizing your current property can also result in significant financial savings. By moving into a smaller property can lead to lower utility bills, maintenance fee, and property taxes. Additional perks are usually given by the Government for those in staying in smaller HDB flats. This will free up additional funds and have good savings that can be used to support your retirement and enjoy your golden years to the fullest.
Your social interaction will also be enhanced with the decision to move to a more suitable home equipped with community network for the elderly in the neighbourhood. For example, moving to a senior-friendly housing can provide you with opportunities to make friends and interact with other and participate in social activities. Be friendly, be active. This will help to overcome loneliness and isolation, which are common among elderly.
Mr Lee, 70, who moved into a retirement community in Jalan Jurong Kechil – The Hillford, after his wife passed away. He initially found it difficult to adjust to his new surroundings, but eventually became involved in the community’s social activities and made many new friends in the process. He also looks forward to his weekdays breakfast meet-up with these friends at the nearby Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre.
The Hillford – a condominium development
For the elderly, safety and security are 2 important considerations when choosing a home. Right-sizing your current property can provide you with a safer and more secure environment that is better suited to your needs. For example, a home fitted with handle bars in the hallway, kitchen and bathroom are handy and moving to a ground-floor apartment will be convenient for wheel chair bound individual. Moving to a gated condominium can provide you with added security measures as you have less to worry – forgetting to lock up your main door when you go out.
Through the years, you might have kept a lot of unwanted things and by moving to a new home, it will certainly be timely to de-clutter – clearing those unwanted items and reducing the amount of time and effort required to maintain your home.
Staying close to public transportation and amenities such as market, hawker centre and convenience store is also ideal to get around your daily need.
While many elder are resistant to change, it might not be a bad thing to have a change of environment especially when staying back at the old place brings bad experience or memories to the elderly.
In conclusion, right-sizing your current property can bring about many benefits for elderly citizens in Singapore. From improved quality of life and financial savings to enhanced social interaction, improved safety and security, and easy maintenance & connectivity, there are many compelling reasons to consider right-sizing to a more suitable home in your golden years.
Growing Needs would like to thank ReAnne Leu, Associate District Director from Huttons Asia Pte Ltd, for her contributions to this article. www.reanneleu.com
Growing Needs grew out of our own encounters with caring for our aging parents and reflecting on the Growing Needs that we ourselves would face as we advance in years. We hope to build a community that will learn, share and contribute towards caring for the growing needs of our loved ones.