From a Woman's Perspective: February 10th, 2024

Friday Feb 09th, 2024



“Love Your Life Again”

Today’s spot with you, Marilyn, is more personal than usual because it tells the story of someone very special to me, my grandmother, or Nanna, as we grandkids called her.

My Nanna lived in the same tiny bungalow in Agincourt that she raised her 5 children in for over 50 years. That house was the first - and only - home she and my grandpa ever owned. At one time, my grandpa had huge flower and vegetable gardens, but as time passed, they were sodded over and a lawn care company eventually had to be brought in to take care of the outside. And a guy in the neighbourhood with a snow plough was hired to clear the snow, but sometimes he didn’t show up, and they could be snowed in for literal days at a time. When my grandpa could no longer take care of his personal daily essentials, he reluctantly agreed, albeit after my nanna cajoled, harangued, and eventually threatened him, to allow a PSW to come in a few hours a week. 

Apart from the weekly trips out for groceries, or to the bank, and the endless rounds of doctors appointments, their lives became increasingly small. And after my grandpa passed, my nanna’s life shrank smaller still. I’d bring my four daughters to visit, we’d always go to Swiss Chalet together, and she would beam with pride introducing us (again) to the wait staff. She was always worried that she talked too loudly or too much, and wanted to make sure she wasn’t embarrassing me. Her long days of isolation had cost her her social confidence. 

Let me be clear that it was my Nanna’s choice to live alone in that bungalow: her children and even us, her grandchildren, encouraged her to explore other options, but she just wouldn’t hear of it. Her bungalow seemed at first blush to be an appropriate housing choice for a senior since all the main living space was on one floor - no stairs. Except there were stairs! To the basement laundry. After a few minor and one major fall, she was banned from going downstairs. (I doubt she complied.) She did live out her days in that house, and got her way on this. But at what cost, I wonder?

What if she had seen for herself what other housing options existed. Actually seen with her own eyes that she could still live independently, but also have access to community that would dispel isolation and loneliness, to amenities that would enhance her life, to activities to keep her neurons firing, and therapeutic supports that would allow her to thrive, not merely cope. 

What if she could be shown that downsizing is so much more than losing your familiar way of existing, it’s gaining a life that you control and design. It’s a fresh start to decide what you really need and want for yourself going forward. It’s having the resources to start living again, and all that means: connection, community and convenience. 

If I sound like I am preaching, I don’t apologize because I have seen the other side of downsizing and it’s glorious! I don’t think I have ever heard any one of my dozens of clients say they regret selling the big family home. But I have heard repeatedly that they wish they had done it sooner!

I’m not sure anything would have changed my Nanna’s mind, but maybe if she had had a guide, someone like me, who knew where she was heading AND knew how to get there, maybe her golden years would truly have shone. 

All I can do is put it out there: if you want to get back to loving your life, I can help. I know what you’re facing, I know the different destination options, and I know how to get you there safely, smoothly and sanely! It only takes a phone call to begin. Sharon Parenteau 416-460-5636, or visit our website, SMART Realty to access a contact form or to request one of our many free guide booklets. Never a cost or obligation. Just information to empower your decision-making process.


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Marilyn Wetson's "From a Woman's Perspective"

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