Are you ready for senior living?
There are many variables that go into the decision to make a move for anyone. The added considerations when making the choice to move to a Senior Living/Retirement community can be more involved. The complexity may also increase if leaving a long-time family home is in the equation. How will you know if you are ready for senior living?
When making a move, all the usual concerns come to the forefront, such as affordability, location, the real estate market, the value of the current home and proximity to desirable amenities.
A life changing event such as the loss of a loved one or a decline in health status can dictate more immediate reasons to make a move. These circumstances may pressure the decision to make a move sooner and will likely involve finding a community or the home of a loved one that provides the needed support more quickly.
But what if those types of life changing circumstances are not a concern at the moment? Then what compels someone to make the decision to move to an Independent Living community? What does “ready” look like for them? From this vantage point there are intangible variables that are often in consideration as well as aspects that are important emotionally. Overall, there is a desire for a lifestyle of aging safely while still enjoying independence.
Some emotional considerations may include:
- Ready to shift away from the responsibility of home maintenance
- Being tired of paying monthly utility bills, HOA fees or hiring contractors
- Having someone else do the cooking and clean up seems like a great idea more often
- Enjoying fitness and leisure activities that someone else organizes is appealing
- Living surrounded in nature, conveniently
- Growing a social support circle
- Spending more time focusing on travel or hobbies
- Housekeeping done by someone else
- Meeting people similar in age more easily (this gets harder without kids around)
- The option for someone else to do the driving to appointments and errands
- The comfort of being able to leave the apartment and it will be safe upon return
- If health needs change, there is the option for additional care right in the same place
There are many motivating factors that are rolled into making a lifestyle change and moving into a retirement community. The list below may help provide prompts for discussion if you or someone you know is curious about making a move and aren’t sure if they are “ready”.
- What do you like about your current situation?
- What would you be giving up by making a move to a retirement community?
- How do you envision spending your days as you age?
- What do you believe you would gain by moving to a retirement community?
- Are family or friends moving to new living arrangements?
- Do loved ones ever ask about “when the time comes” where do you want to live?
- If you have a change in health status, do you have a plan in your current living arrangement?
- What does independence look like?
These questions are conversation starters, there are likely others that are specific to each unique situation.
When considering if you are ready for senior living, it is helpful to understand that today’s communities are not the “nursing homes” of outdated notions. They have developed into far more progressive places to reside, providing a host of activities and amenities that contribute to an enriching lifestyle on campus. With the large population of Baby Boomers in the United States coming of age for retirement community living, the expectations and lifestyle standards are much more robust today than ever.
Be sure that when the discussion includes consideration of a retirement community, ask a list of questions, take tours, speak to current residents, and learn about the options available on campus for living through the whole spectrum of aging.
More resources on this topic include
US News and World Report: https://health.usnews.com/wellness/articles/whats-the-best-age-to-move-into-
Harmony Senior Services: What does “ready for senior living” look like? (harmonyseniorservices.com)
Leisure Care: Knowing You’re Ready for Senior Living (leisurecare.com)
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