September 7, 2021 at 11:38 am #31713
PH life can be difficult and exhaust our “spoons” quickly. When you think about your living arrangements, did this change after a PH diagnosis?
We moved to smaller homes through the years. We lived in a 2-story home with an inground pool and a large yard that I helped to maintain before my PH diagnosis. In between, we have lived in a condo or apartment which was much smaller. We were fortunate to have an attached garage that made it easier for me to get in and out with groceries, etc.
I do remember the less space to walk, clean, and keep us was helpful for me. My amazing husband, Manny is nonstop; even when he is off work, he is at home. He has a ton on his task list, and I am often unable to help him as I would like to.
What about those of you who live alone. How do you manage your current home?
Have you or your loved one changed your living arrangements after a PH diagnosis? Did you scale down to make things easier physically and financially? Do you find a condo lifestyle simpler than a single family home?
If so, please share your experiences and thoughts on this topic.
September 7, 2021 at 2:41 pm #31714Cathy BrownParticipant
We live in a 3-story house now, which is really a problem because my oxygen tubing won’t even reach the attic. The boys (my husband and son) are supposed to keep that floor clean, but they only touch it every few months. When we move, which we will be doing in December, I expect we will have a smaller place with just one floor.
September 8, 2021 at 9:33 am #31731
Hi @catbrown, I can not imagine 3 levels. I had a difficult time with our 2-story home. Yes, like you, I do what I can, but my hubby does the floors and bathtubs mostly. It is mostly things that I am unable to do with bending over a while, etc.
I do not miss my stairs at all. But with him doing all of the extra heavy cleaning, yard and also maintains our vehicles, he stays busy. That is not including any appointments on his off days.
Yes, like you, I have some worries about a condo. One main thing is parking, and we also have our Sasha, our mini schnauzer. It would be less to maintain for him, but we will see.
Have you thought about a patio home? They have come here with smaller years, barely enough for a small patio but enough for Sasha outback.
September 7, 2021 at 2:41 pm #31715
The PH hasn’t entered into any decisions for me yet. However, I decided to get out of my two story townhouse because I was tired of dealing with the stairs and the COPD. I sold that and purchased an larger square foot single level villa (condo of 4 villas to a quad). We have what is referred to as lawn service included in our monthly HOA fees. The villa is very comfy (1857sq ft). Relatively good on utilities. Mostly laminate floors, only the bedrooms are carpeted. I have one of the “Dolly Trolley’s) to bring my groceries from the car or front door if delivered. It makes lite work for that chore. I got it at Walmart for around $35 I think, a number of years ago and it’s been ever so handy in moving lots of things around, you can take the bag off and use it that way. I have a list of handy men and service people to do the things I can’t or don’t know how to do. My biggest issue is wishing the lawn service was a quality business, it leave much to be desired and they have no respect for property and damage the vinyl almost every time they are here – grrrr. Many complains have been filed with the HOA. I personally dislike HOA’s, but with the health issues, it’s a must. I love having a garage again. The neighbors are great, lots of widows like me so we watch for each other. The neighborhood is quite beautiful, so it could be a whole lot worse.
September 7, 2021 at 6:59 pm #31725Colleen SteeleKeymaster
Cathy, I was going to ask if you have considered moving to a small ranch home, but then you will still be stuck with a lot of responsibility that you can avoid if you are in a condo or apartment.
September 8, 2021 at 9:42 am #31732
Hi @indihomaaol-com, your quaint condo community sounds nice for the most part. I would love a smaller community, I think, versus a huge condo community.
It sounds like you continue to have a ton of space. We have no carpet in our house except a few rugs. That helps save time and is also better as far as hypoallergenic.
Your dolly trolley sounds like a huge help. Plus, your garage. I know when we had our attached garages, this made things easier for me. It was a one-car garage, so I parking inside, and my hubby6, Manny, parked just outside. He is a mechanic and likes to tinker, still. So, I think a garage would be something that he, too, would not want to give up.
Yes, like with all things, HOAs can offer good things like included maintenance and lawn care. Plus, I have heard that many are more budget-friendly. If we decide to relocate to another area, we will be considering different options.
I love having all of my home on one level; it helps a ton. Thank you for sharing your experience on this topic.
September 9, 2021 at 9:19 am #31757
I’m with Jill, HOA’s can be very problematic or absolutely wonderful. If you see something you like, go knock on a few doors and see what the locals have to say, very often they are more than willing to share information. My HOA falls somewhere between the two extremes. My monthly fees are $120 and that provides lawn service (basic mowing, shrub trim street snow removal and very little else) we have a designated club house for events, there is a swimming pool, ball courts for the whole community (1800+ homes) multi-housing to include townhouses, single family and then villas. This is one area where it’s buyer beware and please do your home work up front. I personally like single level ground floor units, not too keen on high rises.
September 9, 2021 at 11:26 am #31771
Thank you, @indihomaaol-com, for such helpful tips. Talking to the local sand those who live in that complex would be an excellent idea.
I do agree that there can be great HOAs and not-so-great HOAs. In our current single-family home, we have an HOA, and it is not that great. We do pay almost $400 per year for it. If they have rules, most do not follow them, and they leave them alone. It is worse in the homes that the owners now rent, and no one keeps up with the yard maintenance. On our street, there are about 3 homes that are now in that category. This is an eyesore, and I am nervous that it will reflect our home values.
September 9, 2021 at 11:48 am #31775
Jen — I apologize for misspelling your name. So sorry.
September 10, 2021 at 10:51 am #31789
September 7, 2021 at 3:15 pm #31719Cathy BrownParticipant
I’m curious what you all think about condos. My husband has brought up the subject. We’re in our 50s but still have a 12-year-old son at home and a big dog and a cat, so it might not be ideal. I’ve also been nervous about it because I’m afraid we might get into a situation where the homeowners association has been poorly run and we’d see unexpected costs or even some kind of disaster like what happened in Florida.
September 8, 2021 at 2:32 pm #31749Jill UpshawParticipant
You can get a lot of information on condos from the specific HOA. You would want to look at their financial records and make sure if there are any special assessments. Older condos have higher monthly fees because older buildings require more maintenance. However, you save a lot in upkeep. It is an easier way to live for sure. Make sure the HOA shows you all the financials to include the budget, the reserves and any special assessments ongoing or any special assessments that are planned in the future. If you can get a condo that is in a mixed community with single-family homes, they usually build fast equity.
September 8, 2021 at 7:28 pm #31752
September 7, 2021 at 10:04 pm #31728Roger BlissParticipant
We live in a 3 story house. We were thinking of selling and going on the road full time in a 5th wheel. Not moving now that I have PAH AND covid is making things weird. Gonna keep a home base here in AK. There are less rules here than most places and we are pretty self sufficient. Could easily live a month or more in the dead of winter if we lost all utilities. We have been living on our property for 40 years and our current house for 26 years (long story).
I feel lucky. I have cancer and PAH…….BUT……I seem to be able to get around better than what I read about most on here. I am not on oxygen or find the need for a wheelchair or walker. I am still working, driving a dump truck. I am sure age and my diseases will eventually catch up with me some time in the future, but I wont worry about it till it happens.LOL
September 8, 2021 at 9:48 am #31733
I love this, @wheeldog. As you mention, you do have PH and cancer, but you continue to work and push through. How about your wife? Is she also pretty fit, and you both use all 3 levels within your home? That is impressive, I must say, but I am not surprised.
Do you also have a large yard or average that you maintain in your free time?
Like you, my hubby had wanted to try selling our home and buying a motorhome. I was against this idea, I told him that the short term might work, but we would ring each other’s necks after a while. Yes, we love one another, but that is too close for me for the long term.
That and the “weirdness” of COVID, as you mention.
Roger, I am extremely grateful that you can continue life pretty much as usual. I try and do that most days but unfortunately some areas, my body lets me know quickly that is not happening hehe.
Thanks for sharing your experience, and I love that y’all have been on that property for 40 years. I was a young “whipper-snapper” at that time, hehe.
September 8, 2021 at 1:05 pm #31747Roger BlissParticipant
My wife is pretty healthy and isn’t on any prescription meds. She went hiking with some of her friends yesterday. She takes care of the lawn……always has. It’s her thing. We live on 2.3 acres and maybe there is an acre of lawn……give or take.
The main floor has our bedroom so I don’t have to use the stairs much. My wife has an “office” up stairs.
I can’t do stuff that requires bending over. For example the drain hose on our dishwasher started to leak. I couldn’t bend over long enough to change it…..then I wouldn’t be able to crawl under the sink to hook it up. Our son and family spent a week up here and he fixed it. I borrowed the neighbors back hoe to do some work. Greasing it before I returned it was quite a chore I had to stop and catch my breath quite a few times.
I have my limits just like anyone else. However, I go full bore at the stuff I can do. The more I stay active, the better I feel. It really messes me up if I sit around too long.
September 9, 2021 at 11:32 am #31772
What a woman, @wheeldog. That is awesome! I am so grateful to hear that your wife is so healthy and on no prescription medications.
That certainly makes a difference when you stay on one level and no need to do the stairs.
Yes, moving and keeping as active as possible is key. It sounds like you are learning to listen to your body a bit more. That is something that is not easy but needed with PH and your other health concerns.
Yay, that your son could come and do a few of those tasks for you while he was there. Like you, bending over and doing those tasks takes a toll on me. Most with PH have that limitation, unfortunately.
Yes, sir, going full speed until your body sends you a signal is what I expect you do. Take care, my buddy; thanks for sharing.
September 8, 2021 at 2:25 pm #31748Jill UpshawParticipant
I sold my 5100 sq ft lake home for a 1466 sq ft one-level retirement house in a 55 and over community. I have never regretted one moment. My big house was actually one level with a bonus up and it was built for getting older as far as mobility goes. But it was so big and so much to maintain. My current home has its limits but my HOA takes care of the grass, shrubs, mulch and irrigation. Even my little house seems too big sometimes. I recently looked at an independent 55 and over apartment that provides breakfast and housecleaning services. It also provides transportation to scheduled appointments. It is only 900 sq ft and has a full kitchen. They do offer a lot of services but I am not ready to go that small and that expensive yet. However, I am sure it is the next step. It was hard giving up my home but it was the right thing to do.
September 9, 2021 at 11:40 am #31773
Hi @upshtcx, I know that giving up our homes can be difficult. But, it is so worth it for many reasons at the same time.
It sounds like you have researched ahead and have some ideas for going a bit smaller and having more assistance. I have worked in an independent living apartment before. It was so once. The chefs were amazing; one would make me breakfast the evening morning that I worked.
I was a nurse manager, and we had a team of 2 assistants that would check in on each resident who needed it. We did reminders to take their medications and schedule any appointments that the families did not have time to do.
A nurse was on duty 24/7, which was a nice safety bonus for many families and residents. They offered many group trips, shopping, etc. They had a ton of fun, and I enjoyed watching them and celebrating with them when I could. It was one of my favorite jobs; I hated to leave.
Like you, our home now is just over 1600 SF. It is too big at times. With just us two, we only use the bathrooms, kitchen, living, and 2 bedrooms. I think 1000-1200 would be plenty for me—less walking, cleaning, maintaining, etc. Thanks for sharing, Jill. This 55 and older community sounds nice. Our daughter reminded us last month on her birthday that we are almost there, LOL.
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