Just to be clear, we're not really talking about coffee pots specifically in this blog post.
Coffee Pot is a game you can play in a group and a favorite of church youth events. Here's a quick run-down of how it works in case any seniors want to start up a round with friends or neighbors in one of the common areas of the ViewPointe assisted living community in Colorado Springs, CO.
• One person leaves the space or room so they don't hear the discussion.
• The remaining group decides on something — it can be simple, such as a person, place or thing. Examples might be a Christmas tree, a hamburger or the Queen of England.
• The person is invited back in and must figure out what the thing is. Until they figure it out, the code phrase for the unknown thing is "the coffee pot."
• The person asks questions of the group, who must respond with mostly yes and no answers. You might decide to give some clarifications in answering, such as "most of the time" or "some of the time" when appropriate to make guessing harder or easier, but the answers must always be honest.
Coffee Pot is a fun game worth trying out, but that's not what this blog post is about. It's about whether or not you need random items in your assisted living apartment. Since the items being considered are likely different for each person, the title just uses "coffee pot" as a code phrase.
The assisted living apartments at ViewPointe in Colorado Springs come in two varieties. The first is a one bedroom with a living space, kitchenette, bathroom and spacious closet as well as exterior porch access. These options offer around 650 square feet of living space.
The second option is a two-bedroom companion suite. The 900 square feet includes a living space, a kitchenette, a double bathroom, several closets and two bedrooms. You also get exterior porch access from the living room.
While our floor plans are carefully designed to provide safe, comfortable living quarters for seniors, space within the apartments is more limited than you might have experienced in a family home. For many seniors, that means downsizing belongings, selecting only certain furniture items and limiting some personal items that may not be necessary to an independent, comfortable lifestyle.
When you're deciding if a (coffee pot) should reside in your assisted living apartment, you can ask yourself a few questions. The answers may help you make a choice about whether to keep an item or not.
• Is the function provided for elsewhere in the community? Imagine the coffee pot is actually a coffee pot. You might enjoy having a cup of coffee after a meal or once a day in the morning. That might be a reason to keep a coffee maker in your apartment. But if you prefer to enjoy that cup with friends, you might consider if the common areas or dining room will provide for your coffee needs. Then, you could save the space for something else.
• Will you actually use the item? Now imagine the coffee pot is a treadmill. Treadmills are notorious purchases that don't stand the test of time in many homes. Before you add one to your apartment, ask yourself if you'll really use it. Otherwise, it's going to take up a lot of valuable space for no benefit. Whatever item you're considering keeping, make sure it will be useful. If you're not sure, write today's date on a sticky note and attach it to items in question. Remove the sticky note when you use the item. In a few months, see which items still have notes attached — you may not need those.
• Does the item bring you joy? If you've seen Marie Kondo's television show or read about the konmari method of organizing, you're familiar with this question. This is a good evaluator for items that aren't actually practically useful on their own. Decor items, pictures and extra comfort items such as throw pillows fall into this category. Only keep these types of things if they spark joy in your home.
If you're downsizing from a current residence into an assisted living apartment, don't put too much stress on this process. If you can't decide on a few items, keep them for now or ask family or friends to hold on to them for you. That way, if you realize in a few weeks that you do need that coffee pot — whatever it happens to be — you can easily retrieve it.
And, if you're at a complete loss as to what you might need to bring with you to assisted living, talk to the staff at ViewPointe or residents of assisted living communities. They can tell you what they use most and what they might wish they had kept.
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