“My mom, in a retirement home? No way. Not her.”
“I value my independence too much. Besides, I’m not that old!”
When the subject comes up about moving from home into a new, seniors-focused lifestyle, it often becomes a discussion about freedom and independence. We also know that age is just a number; we’re all still the same person, no matter how many birthday candles are on the cake.
But there’s no denying that as we age, our needs become different. What was once a breeze – household chores, running up the stairs, taking care of the everyday – can become difficult, the very things that get in the way of enjoying life. So, if it’s really about freedom, then a change may be in order. Change can also be the spark that rekindles independence, not hampers it.
Getting older is about the beginning of something new. What we’re talking about is how best to explore More Living.
Five Ways to Narrow It Down
Moving is major and rarely a snap decision. People often need to do some soul searching and families need to talk together honestly before making any commitment. Here are five things to keep an eye on, which may indicate that a senior living lifestyle option is the best next step.
1. Craving More Social and Emotional Outlets
What friendships, hobbies, volunteer opportunities are currently being met? Is isolation coming into play, where someone older is home a lot? If there are signs of a change in socializing and becoming withdrawn, a senior living residence may be a good option. Being part of a community of new friends, with support when it’s needed can make all the difference.
2. Wanting Relief from Chores
Feeling more overwhelmed than inspired by taking care of a home is a telling thing. Constant oversight of home maintenance and repairs is a big job for anyone, let alone the day-to-day cleaning and general upkeep required. If it’s noticeable that it’s no longer fun doing the work of having a home, moving to a place where someone else worries about upkeep may be a good option.
3. Knowing There’s an Ally Day To Day
If day-to-day activities are becoming hard work – like getting to appointments, buying groceries, preparing meals, taking medications and managing personal hygiene – then maybe it’s time to look for alternatives. In retirement homes, nutritious and delicious meals are prepared fresh daily, and there is support available to make sure every need is met.
4. Feeling Safe at Home
What are the safety risks at home? Have there been falls? If there are mobility challenges, how accessible is the bathroom or front entrance? If changes are needed to make the home more functional, are they affordable? A move into a retirement residence can provide peace of mind knowing the environment is designed specifically for seniors.
5. Extending Decision-making Abilities
As we age, it can get harder over time to continue making sound financial and health-related decisions. To meet financial obligations, like household bills. If this is happening, it may be time to consider another lifestyle option that is better suited to these changing needs.
The Benefits of a New Lifestyle
There is no right or wrong way to come to the decision to move. Together, families will need to talk honestly about what is going on. Perhaps soon, or maybe later, but definitely before it’s a necessity. You’ll see a list of key questions here to help start the thinking. For most people, it’s about recognizing when the time is right and exploring the options available, and then making that decision to move to a place where they can enjoy more living.
Remember that the choice to make a move to a senior living residence is very personal, and it is not tied to a specific age or milestone.