The Upside of Downsizing Part 1: Make Life About You!

Like many older adults, Bennie Tarnow has led a busy life and continues to do so. Downsizing and moving to The Merion in Evanston, IL she considers a game changer.

After a 30-plus-year career as an inner-city school teacher, moving several times for her husband’s consulting career, and raising their two children through it all, she realized a new era was upon her.

“It’s about you; it’s not about anyone else,” Bennie says. “I don’t have kids in the house anymore yelling ‘Mom, Mom!’ to get my attention. I realized I don’t need all these clothes, appliances and household items to bog me down. And it’s easier than you think to say, ‘I don’t need that.’”

Bennie decided to move to The Merion, an independent living senior living community, in 2018 to a one-bedroom apartment home, and more recently to a studio apartment.

“I have plenty of room for my clothes, plenty of light and comfort,” she adds. “When moving, The Merion helped me with different scenarios of my apartment layout, and they helped provide some furniture that paired well with my personal items. It was nice to be involved in the process to make it a comfortable fit.”

Among various benefits of downsizing, Bennie says a couple stood out most for her. Organizing and getting rid of unneeded items decreased stress while at the same time greatly increased her sense of personal fulfillment and self-discovery.

“It’s the first time I’m really able to express myself, to make life about me,” says Bennie. “I’m able to travel more, work out every day, meet people and talk with others to share and learn about different perspectives and interests.”

Bennie Tarnow is not the only resident who has realized two things:

  • You don’t need as much as you may originally think when moving to The Merion
  • An amazing experience and enhanced quality of life starts outside your apartment home

For Bennie Tarnow, she spends most of her free time away from her apartment exploring activities within the senior living community and just outside the doors in Evanston.

“It’s fun to see everything new to try that our social director Tammy puts up on the activities board,” Bennie notes. “And I’m involved in several activities around Evanston with schools, art centers and groups.”

For this lifelong elementary school teacher, she says learning about downsizing and its advantages is a lesson that can be extremely rewarding.

Contact us to learn more about the resident experience and downsizing resources available.