Too often we wait for something to happen before we make important life decisions—choose to make a move while the choice is still yours to make!
Determining when to move to a senior living community is a very personal decision. It is a process that can come with a lot of stress. Some people wait for a crisis to occur before even considering such a move; while others plan and move before something happens. There is no magic time or age, but experience shows proper advance planning can make all the difference.
It is very common for new Residents to say they ‘wished they moved 10 years earlier!’
Today, you are likely coping ‘just fine,’ but imagine your life five to ten years from now. Think about a scenario where you may not be able to drive any more, or your health starts to decline, or meals become challenging. What would life would be like for you or your spouse if one of you passes away or requires care? Thinking like this might be difficult but it could help you develop a plan for ‘how you want to live’ both now and in the future. It is important to be realistic and most of all, proactive in your planning.
Signs that you or your loved one should start planning your next move:
• Household maintenance is overwhelming and/or a financial burden
• Health and/or mobility changes
• Trouble managing medications
• Experiencing symptoms of caregiver burnout
• Chores around the house are not being managed well
• Feelings of loneliness or depression from lack of socialization
• Difficulty with meal preparation
• Food is spoiling often
• Looking to travel more – would like the ability to lock-and-leave
My best advice to seniors who are thinking about this type of change is to MOVE while you are still able to enjoy all the benefits of a senior living community. It is better to be five years too early than five minutes too late. We often see seniors moving in very late in life because their health is failing and “they just can’t do it any more.” This is frustrating to see because so many of their challenges could have been avoided or at least supported if they had moved earlier. Plus, they are more limited as to their lifestyle choice options at this point.
Let’s talk about three key benefits to Senior Living:
1 Onsite Supports for Optimal Health: Moving to a senior living community can help improve your health and wellness with onsite amenities and programs to help keep you active, nourished, and engaged. Dining services include tasty and nutritious options with variety for those who have dietary restrictions due to illnesses like diabetes. Daily stretch and flex classes are available to promote physical strength, circulation, flexibility, and mobility.
2 Better Safety and Security: Living alone can be worrisome, but senior living communities provide on-site team members for emergencies, security, and monitoring to help keep you safe. Every Resident is typically equipped with emergency call button services to ensure help is available any time.
3 Opportunities to Socialize: One of the biggest advantages of senior living communities is the chance to socialize, be engaged, and have fun! There are daily activities such as book clubs, gardening, movie nights, music, games, and much more. There are also opportunities for outings, cultural events and even shopping trips. Socializing boosts emotional and mental health and can ward off several illnesses, helping promote your overall well being!
I don’t ever want to live in one of ‘those’ places!
There is a stigma associated with senior living communities, that they are nursing homes. This could not be further from the truth. Community living has come a long way from the single room with a bed and a TV. They can even be luxurious and comforting, while preserving independence and enhancing your daily life experience. There are many, very varied options in senior living today, so it is important to do your research, making sure to choose the best fit for your personal needs!
Is there a right time to move?
Everyone’s timing is different but if you are in your retirement years; putting a plan together today will benefit your ‘future self.’ Be proactive. You will learn a lot along the way, and will set yourself up for success. Remember to move while you can fully benefit from the array of supports and options available.
If you have questions about senior living options, costs and an aging in place lifestyle call 403-369-6000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tina Cameron has over 20 years of experience with The Manor Village Life Centers and The Statesman Group of Companies.