Every so often, I hear a concerned family member say; “We’re not sure if Mom and Dad are ready, they’re very independent right now, and don’t need any assistance. We’re waiting for the right time before discussing a move like this with them.” But when is the right time?
Often times, the right time is long before the transition actually takes place. In many cases, families make the decision to move a loved one when it has become necessary to do so. Something has happened, and Mom or Dad need to be in a place where they are most accessible to nursing assistance and other assisted living services. On the other hand, one could think; “Well, why would we move Mom and Dad into a Retirement Community unless they absolutely needed to go?” This is the part I was referring to before, about the stigmas attached to the idea of what a Retirement Community really is – or can be! Retirement Residences are just like condos, which have amenities that are more tailored to their specific residents: In-house physiotherapists, traditional-style movie theatres, outdoor gardens, arts & crafts room, in-house nurses stations, social departments that arrange local trips, and much more.
So many people who work within the Retirement Industry can attest to this – There is so much to do and so much to gain from living in a Retirement Residence, while maintaining independence. Resort-style living, an active lifestyle, activities, events, entertainment, and socializing are just some of the aspects of a Retirement Residence that Mom and Dad can benefit from if they do decide to move before it becomes necessary. Sure, a Retirement Residence can be a great solution when a loved one is ill, has fallen and come out of hospital recently, or just needs to be in an environment where there are 24-hour nurses available. In many of these cases though, it means that your loved one may not be able to attend the programs, participate in the events, or use all the amenities. Likely this is the case, because they’re either cognitively or physically unable to participate; not to say that they cannot, but it is my experience that residents of a Retirement Residence are better able to reap the benefits of living in such a place, when they have the opportunity to explore all aspects of what the home has to offer.
Retirement Communities are not only for those who need nursing care, who are wheelchair bound, or for those who need bathing assistance. Of course, these are extra services offered by many of the homes out there if that time comes. That’s one of the benefits of Retirement Living; the worry-free environment, where you can live how you would like to, while having many services available to you if you need them. There are many Retirement Residences out there that encourage their residents to remain active and social, by offering a multitude of programs and events to participate in. The many benefits of Retirement Living can only fully be experienced, if your loved ones move in before waiting for the transition to become necessary.
What other dilemmas have you experienced when thinking about whether or not to move a loved one into a Retirement Residence? What are the things that hold you back?