I had to admit that our home needed a family to enjoy it fully and I set about looking for more suitable accommodation for me, as a singleton. My friends immediately fell into 2 differing groups: those who commended me on my bravery and those who feared that I was losing the plot. This latter faction were full of pessimism about the process of right-sizing (they called it downsizing, but I never use that word because of its negative associations).
I admit that this was not a simple process. I found myself the proud owner of 82 cups and saucers (we had entertained often and in large numbers); I offered these to my children, and found no takers... they used mugs. So, off to charity shops went my prized china, batched up in sets of 6. As a family, we had spent many happy times around my beautiful Cuban mahogany table; seating 16, it was perfect for family celebrations. But... it was far too big even to fit inside my children’s homes; so, off to auction with it, swiftly followed by my cut glass and crystal (considered to have no appeal as none of it could be put in the dishwasher).
Concerned friends asked whether parting with such beautiful possessions, carefully and proudly collected over decades, was heart-breaking.
No. All it was was stuff, and nothing could ever erase the memories I had accumulated with its use: they will remain forever.
I looked around for what was available for me. Choice does exist, but the options must be carefully researched; above all else, any decision must be made by the person involved, and definitely not at the suggestion (or worse... pushing) by friends and relatives, however well-intentioned they may be.
I was seeking the freedom to lead an independent life for as long as possible
but at the same time I was realistically aware that at any time my health could deteriorate, so care should be easily available when necessary.