Your loved one has made the decision to move into an assisted living community. More likely than not, you were actively involved in that decision-making process, and both of you are looking forward to having the additional assistance that will give you peace of mind for your loved one’s safety and socialization. However, even with all the excitement of moving into a new space, it is common for your loved one to experience some worries upon transition.
When you’re ready to make the shift to senior living—or to help someone you love make the transition—it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the options. Senior living has come a long way from the days of sterile nursing homes and quiet active living communities. Seniors now have virtually limitless options. But the vocabulary can be confusing, and choosing the right community for your needs can feel daunting. Here’s how to begin your search.
As you enter retirement age, you may be wondering what all the hype is about senior living communities. You hear your friends talk about their community, or perhaps you have visited them there and are curious if a move might benefit you. Or perhaps you are concerned about your senior loved one, who is living with a chronic health condition that is difficult to manage. Increased pain or complicated medications can be frustrating to live with, especially if your loved one is living alone. You have wondered if a senior living community would be best for your loved one but are worried about bringing up the subject.
Life is full of transitions and next chapters. Children grow up and start jobs or go to college. They get married, have kids of their own and may move. Transitions almost always offer new opportunities, but they can also be scary. That may be why many seniors are reluctant to transition from their current living arrangement into an independent living community. Just as you might have felt homesick your first night of college or anxious about getting married, it’s normal to be unsure about the next page of your life story. For many seniors, independent living offers a bridge to a vibrant community; new friendships; and many more years of learning, giving back to the community and connecting to others.
Seniors across the country are living more active lifestyles than the generations that came before them. Retirement years are now the years for you to pursue new hobbies, make new friends, and learn new things. Thanks, in part, to longer lifespans and increased financial security, today’s seniors are finding new ways to connect with one another and stay engaged with the communities around them.
Transitions can be difficult, particularly for seniors with dementia. If your loved one’s dementia is progressing, it may be time to shift from assisted living to memory care. The decision can be a difficult one, since there is no single guideline for deciding when it’s time to make a change. Financial considerations can weigh heavily on your mind, too, since the higher level of care at a memory care community typically comes with a higher price tag.
Your retirement years are made for doing what you love, trying new things, and exploring favorite (and new) places. Your eventual move to a senior living community should not prevent you from achieving your travel dreams. In fact, a move to a senior community can actually make traveling easier.
It’s a familiar refrain heard at family discussions across the nation:
“When I’m old, don’t put me somewhere. I want to live on my own terms!”
Many seniors are terrified of ending up in a nursing home. They associate nursing homes with abandonment, old age, and uselessness.
The truth is that today’s seniors have many excellent options from which to choose—whether they’re able-bodied or ailing. Assisted living and nursing home communities no longer mean being confined to a rocker. Many are chock-full of activities, learning, and a sense of community. Even so, they’re not right for everyone. Seniors who want to avoid a nursing home but are no longer comfortable living at home should consider senior independent living communities. The perfect option for independent seniors with a commitment to adventure, this senior living option allows seniors to continue thriving, learning, and growing well into old age.
What should you look for when evaluating a senior living community? What questions should you be prepared to ask? In our recent Senior Living LIVE broadcast, we talked with Karen DeMarco, Senior Care Counselor at Arbor Terrace of Burnt Hickory, about the things you can do to prepare for a senior living community tour. Watch below or read through our transcript.