Coping When Disability Forces You to Downsize

Coping when Disablity Forces You To DownsizePin
Coping when Disablity Forces You To Downsize

Updated on April 26, 2018.

Grieving First

Downsizing your living space because of poor health requires all of your coping skills. This is happening to me. After five years on disability, I can no longer afford my home. In my head, I know that moving to an apartment will mean less money spent each month.  No property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, or mortgage to pay.  It will mean fewer rooms to clean, and fewer rooms to heat/cool. Hopefully, that will mean I’ll have more energy to do the things I want to do. I should also have an easier time paying my bills each month.

However, it will also mean that I have to say good-bye to the home that I’ve lived in for 11 years. The home that I raised my kids in as a single mom. I will somehow have to get rid of enough stuff to fit into an apartment. It means trying to find affordable housing for myself and my 18 year old high school student.  I will have to learn how to navigate my days without being surrounded by my kids, and their friends.

This whole downsizing process has at times filled me with grief, and overwhelm, and a great deal of wishing things were different. I know that I need to focus on the pluses, but just for today I need to grieve over the changes. If you’re facing losses due to your chronic illness, it’s okay to mourn. We don’t always have to be smiling and happy.

Coping Thoughts

Here’s what I’m doing to help me cope with this change in my life. May these ideas help you as well:

  • Remind myself that I have survived changes in the past and I will survive this one too.
  • Go ahead and cry, then wipe my tears and do the next small thing that needs done.
  • Figure out what I need help with.
  • Ask for help! My friends and loved ones want to help; tell them what I need.
  • Use whatever works for me to relieve stress. Healthy choices.
  • Get all the hugs I can.
  • Remind myself that it is the people in my home that make it home, not the building.

Coping Resources

Moving is a huge stressor, and it’s going to take all my coping skills to get through, because I’m already not feeling well. If you’re facing this situation, I would love to hear from you. We can encourage each other. I plan on keeping you, my readers, updated on this transition. Hopefully, something I write will help you or someone you know if this happens to them.

And finally, I’ve included this link to an article about stress and moving. You can read more about my downsizing journey here. Till next time. Kathy 

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By Kathryn

I'm a writer, disabled registered nurse, and former home school parent of 6 children ages 19 to 32. I'm also a domestic abuse survivor.


  1. Hi Kathy, just wanted to let you know that this article was a readers’ fav on my Twitter for the week, and I’ve listed it here. Keep up the fab work with your writing and raising awareness!

  2. You won’t necessarily have to part with your pet…even in public housing. The Americans With Disability Act requires landlords to make accommodations for service animals, companion animals, etc. In my case, all I’ve needed to provide is a letter from my physician to my landlord. You also cannot be charged a deposit for these animals. I currently live in HUD housing owned and managed by a nonprofit. There is a weight limit of 20 pounds on animals.

    I hope this information will help you make your choices.

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