What to Expect When Transitioning to Senior Independent Living

1 year ago ·

What to Expect When Transitioning to Senior Independent Living

Moving into an Independent Living Community comes with a lot of perks, but it’s also a big change and, as with any major life change, it can be accompanied by its share of stress and worries.

Knowing some of what to expect ahead of time can be very helpful with coping with a new situation, so let’s discuss a few things that you can expect while transitioning to an Independent Living Community.

Be prepared for the move – Moving can be a hassle at any stage of life and, if you’re moving from a larger house, you will likely need to do a lot of downsizing. This can be a lot of work, so it’s best to give yourself plenty of time for packing and organizing your things. Be sure to enlist other people’s help, as you need it. That way, you can avoid a stressful rush to get everything sorted out at the last minute.

Some negative emotions are normal – It’s perfectly natural to feel a little sad about leaving behind your old house and neighborhood. Know that it’s okay for you to feel this way and be sure to give yourself the time you need to process your emotions. Everyone adjusts to change differently, so don’t be hard on yourself if it takes you some time to emotionally transition.

Have some fun setting up your new living space – Even if you’re experiencing some mixed emotions about the move, setting up a new home can be quite exciting. Try to have fun with the experience by decorating your new place and making it your own. This can also help you to feel more comfortable in your new environment.

Expect to see a lot of new faces – Once the unpacking is done with, be sure to introduce yourself to some of your neighbors. Independent Living Communities offer plenty of opportunities for socializing: you can dine with other residents in the communal dining area, get to know them during social events or just strike up a conversation as you’re going about your day in the community. You never know who could become a new close friend, so try not to be shy and get out there and socialize!

Enjoy community events – One of the benefits of Independent Living Communities are that they offer a wide variety of activities, so take the opportunity to try out different things and maybe even pick up a new hobby. Ask around to see what the other residents’ favourite social events are and plan to participate in the activities that sound the most enjoyable to you. These are also a great way to get to know your neighbors and form new connections, so be sure to get involved.

Carry on with your normal activities – Independent living means you maintain your freedom and can continue to live your life much the same as you did before, only now with a lot of mundane worries taken off your plate. You won’t have to be concerned about things like home maintenance or meal preparation anymore, and can instead focus on fully enjoying your retirement.

Even knowing what to expect, and about all of the benefits of senior independent living, you might still have some reservations about the change. If you’re feeling anxious or upset, reach out to your friends and family members and talk through some of your concerns. There’s no reason to dwell on your feelings alone.

Moving to an Independent Living Community can be the start of an exciting new chapter in your life. Instead of looking backward and focusing on the past, look forward to all the new experiences, new friendships and increased time for leisure that you’ll get to enjoy.

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How to Talk to Your Loved One about Their Senior Living Options

1 year ago ·

How to Talk to Your Loved One about Their Senior Living Options

Talking to your aging loved ones about their senior living options isn’t always an easy conversation to have. Your loved one might feel apprehensive about losing their freedoms, or they might have a great sense of attachment to their current home. They may even respond negatively to the suggestion that they require any kind of assistance at all. For these reasons, it might be tempting to avoid the conversation for as long as possible, but it’s important not to put it off. While it might be an uncomfortable topic, approaching the conversation in the right way could help your loved one get more out of their life and/or live more safely.

Here are a few tips to encourage the conversation.

  • Get other people involved.

If you have other close relatives who could help with the conversation, it’s best to make this a team effort and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Depending on your situation, it might also be a good idea to ask a third party to be involved, such as a doctor or family friend.

  • Be prepared.

Write down your observations and outline what your main points of concern are ahead of time. Are you worried that their home environment is no longer safe? Do they require assistance with certain tasks, like managing their medications? It also helps to do some research before sitting down to talk. Learning more about what options are available will help you get a better understanding of what might be the best fit for your loved one’s needs and allow you to convey that information with more confidence.

  • Avoid information overload.

After all that research you did earlier, it might be tempting to share all of the statistics and information that you’ve learned. However, you don’t want the person you’re talking with to feel overwhelmed. Share the basic information upfront and make sure you are being clear and to the point.

  • Make it a discussion.

This should be a true conversation, so don’t try to trivialize your loved one’s concerns or impose your will. Listen to their anxieties or objections and ask questions so that you can better understand where they’re coming from. The discussion is more likely to be productive if your loved one feels respected and listened to.

  • Don’t judge.

If your loved one starts getting defensive or disengages from the conversation, you might find yourself feeling frustrated. It’s important to try and put yourself in their shoes and to demonstrate empathy. The idea of loss of independence is very difficult for a lot of people to deal with, so try to be understanding.

 

  • Take your time.

Your loved one might need time to process things and to put their feelings into words. Try to give them the time they need, instead of rushing them. This might need to be a series of talks, so be prepared for coming to a decision to be process.

 

  • Arrange a visit to a community.

One of the best ways to alleviate your loved one’s concerns is seeing what the living conditions in a retirement community are actually like. An in-person or virtual tour can help both you and your loved one get a better understanding of the lifestyle, culture and amenities that a community has to offer.

One final point to keep in mind is that it is their decision. Unless your loved one is no longer capable of making decisions for themselves, the ultimate say in the matter is theirs. There are a lot of things that you can do to help them reach an informed decision (providing information, booking a tour, etc.), but remember that, at the end of the day, it’s their call.

While these tips can help you to prepare for discussing their living arrangements with your loved one, it will likely still be an emotional conversation, for everyone involved. Keep in mind, however, that the biggest hurdle is often broaching the topic the first time, and the earlier you get that out of the way, the better. You don’t want to put this discussion off until you reach the point where your loved one requires immediate help. Talking about what they want early will allow for less pressure, on both you and your loved one, and will make it easier for you to find the living arrangement that’s best for them together.

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What does residential assisted-living care look like?

2 years ago ·

What does residential assisted-living care look like?

Residential care homes offer a smaller, more home-like family setting for seniors.  These care homes are typically located in traditional homes and neighborhoods and provide care for fewer residents than assisted living communities. Service offerings include food services and assistance with daily living, part-time medical professional care is offered.  This live-in housing and care option is great for people who do not have skilled medical needs, such as a feeding tube or daily injections and a great option for individuals who are looking for a smaller-home-like setting.

There are seniors that enjoy the benefits of living in a home shared with other seniors. They have their own rooms, and occasionally bathrooms, but share common areas such as family room and dining room. The company of other seniors, especially when they have shared interests and experiences eliminates the typical feelings of loneliness and isolation experienced when living alone.

If you have ever watched an episode of the Golden Girls or seen the movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, you will understand the warm, loving, and supportive environment that residential assisted-living can offer. When you transition to this type of environment, it is a less traumatic event as you feel that you are just moving from one comforting home to another without the added stress of having to worry about meal planning, upkeeping and home maintenance and still can continue to live with the choices you had before.

Want to learn more about residential senior living?  Call us today 519-534-5878 or Request your Information Package Today!

Image Credit: Golden Girls/Facebook

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