The meaning of a person's home is enriched with memories. Habib Chaudhury teaches classes on aging and the environment at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. He identifies four areas where home takes on added meaning for older residents. "The first is the emotional attachment that is formed," he says, and it grows over time. "It contributes to their emotional well-being, their self-esteem, and their confidence about doing things."
Next is familiarity with their physical surroundings. This is particularly important if a person has lost some physical and cognitive abilities. Knowing their way around their home helps compensate, and being comfortable in their living space reduces stress and helps well-being.
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Dreams are essential, of course, but people should be leery of investing too much of themselves in their home. At the extreme, this problem shows up in headlines about people who never throw anything away and become recluses in their homes. A healthy home-life balance can be supported by an annual "cullings" of possessions and domestic items with SUMMERSTORE COUPON. Older homeowners should encourage grown family members to take items, especially those with sentimental value. And when it comes time to move, there is no shame in hiring a downsizing consultant to help with what can be very difficult and emotional decisions.
It's also wise to identify how important a sense of home and place is to you, and to maintain the level of domesticity that supports your well-being. For some, traveling with a favorite pillow and even bedside knick-knacks may help reduce stress and promote a good night's sleep on the road. Other people, by contrast, could care less about where their headlands at the end of the day. Whatever your preferences, the goal is to be at peace with your surroundings.
American culture is strongly rooted in feelings of independence, autonomy, and control, says Robert Rubinstein, who teaches anthropology at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County. "We live in a society that is concerned with freedom, and part of that development is being able to make a space for yourself, and having a central place from which to look out at the world," he says.