What to Expect When Transitioning to Senior Independent Living

12 months 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

12 months 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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The Benefits of Retirement Communities in Battling Senior Loneliness and Isolation

12 months ago ·

The Benefits of Retirement Communities in Battling Senior Loneliness and Isolation

Feelings of isolation are something that many of us have, unfortunately, had to deal with over the past year, and which many of us are still struggling with. We’ve been disconnected from our social circles. We haven’t been able to take part in the activities that used to bring us joy. We haven’t been experiencing those small conversations with people at work. All of these things take a toll. While these were all necessary sacrifices in order to keep people safe, they still left an impact, and some have felt it more than others.

One group that has been hit hard by the need for isolation protocols has been seniors, as they are a group that was already vulnerable to isolation and loneliness. Restrictions are starting to ease in some parts of the country, but isolation sadly remains a problem for many seniors. There are a lot of factors that contribute to this, such as shrinking social circles, loss of contact with colleagues, mobility issues or other health concerns. As things slowly start to return to normal, one thing we must try to remember is to not underestimate the damaging effects that isolation can have on a person’s mental health.

Our connections to other people (our friends and loved ones) are what helps make our lives feel rich and fulfilling. When we’re alone, it can quickly become hard to maintain a positive outlook. Isolation can easily lead to feelings of increased stress, anxiety, and depression. The lack of social support can also result in an increase in unhealthy habits, such as inactivity or excessive drinking. In some extreme cases, people might start to experience suicidal ideation. Loneliness is not something that should be ignored or trivialized – it’s a serious matter.

Isolation can be especially damaging to seniors, who can also experience cognitive decline, complications to existing health-conditions and other health risks. When there is no one around to notice that someone’s health is deteriorating, the worst outcomes become increasingly more likely. With an estimated one-third of seniors living alone, the effects of isolation on their health and well-being is becoming a topic of increasing concern.

So, what can we do to combat senior loneliness and isolation?

Being a part of a community can go a long way to help someone achieve that feeling of connectedness that is so important to maintaining good mental health. Humans are social beings and most of us crave a sense of belonging, of feeling valued and cared for. This is where living in a retirement community can provide a lot of benefits, particularly to someone who is living independently and doesn’t want to sacrifice their freedom, but still wants to foster meaningful relationships and be able to experience regular face-to-face interactions with others.

Retirement communities offer a wide number of opportunities for socializing and forming new friendships. There are group activities and classes, which can be a terrific way to meet new people, and communal dining areas, which are wonderful places for a casual chat. Memorable occasions, such as birthdays and anniversaries, are celebrated, ensuring that residents always have someone to share their special occasions with.

Having neighbors in the same age-range can be a huge benefit when it comes to forming new connections. Being surrounded by people who are at a similar place in their lives, and who may be experiencing similar challenges, can make it easier to open-up and build new friendships.

Just knowing that there are other people around you, who you can turn to when you are going through a tough time, or when you need some assistance, can be a huge relief and source of comfort. Having that community of people who care, and who will notice if something is wrong, goes a long way in helping a person to feel secure and valued.

For a long time, loneliness seemed to be something that people accepted as a normal part of aging. If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it should be that this mindset is unacceptable. Mental health is just as important to one’s overall well-being as one’s physical health, and our need for socialization and community shouldn’t be ignored.

Independent living doesn’t need to mean living alone; find your community and ensure that you remain connected and happy, regardless of what stage of life you’re in!

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1 year ago ·

Wiarton Retirement Residence Response To COVID-19 Pandemic And 6 Tips To Get Through The Pandemic

COVID-19, also commonly known as the “Novel Coronavirus” hit the world in 2019, leaving everyone uncertain about how the world would operate. It has brought in many changes since it has taken a place in the world. We have to meet our loved ones virtually, we cannot travel, the shopping system has been moved to online, meetings are done in a socially distant manner, and if you live in another country, you probably have not met your loved ones in a year.

However, as time progresses, we now know more about the virus. We have been more informed and cautious as to how we can prevent the contraction of the virus. As months have passed, we now know what causes the virus. After the virus has been a part of our lives for more than a year, we now know how to keep everyone safe and what guidelines to follow. 

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a virus caused by a new coronavirus called “SARS-CoV-2”, causing respiratory symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat, headache, fever, dry cough, and fatigue. These are the most common symptoms in an individual.

Researchers believe that the virus started from bats however no one is sure of it and no one knows how it spread to the world and what the path was. The transfer of the virus from one human to another human is unfortunately very easy. It can spread through droplets that are generated from a human’s sneeze or cough and it can spread through a touch from a person who has the virus, or a person who has been contracted with the virus and has touched a surface. 

How should we keep ourselves safe?

We understand that remaining calm during a pandemic is not easy. However, being calm is the biggest solution during such times. With the rising cases in every province and city, we all require extra safety measures which we at Wiarton Retirement Residence always make sure to follow.The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus and to make sure you and your loved ones are safe, is to follow the guidelines that have been recommended.

The most basic guidelines provided that should be followed are the following:

1- Always wear a mask when meeting someone or when you are in a public space. The mask should cover your mouth and nose.

2- Wash your hands regularly with soap for 20 seconds especially after touching a surface or after you believe that you may have had contact with anyone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. If washing is not possible then sanitize your hands.

3- Avoid touching your nose, eyes, mouth, or ears. COVID-19 spreads through these contact points.

4- If you must sneeze or cough, use your elbow and not your hands.

5- Do not go out if it is not necessary. Only essential trips should be done.

What is happening at Wiarton Retirement Residence during the pandemic to keep your loved ones safe?

For us at Wiarton Retirement Residence our community is very important. Therefore we at Wiarton Retirement Residence follow all rules and regulations to make sure our community and residents are safe at all times while taking heightened precautionary measures. We at Wiarton Retirement Residence abide by all provincial and federal government laws and regulations. These rules and regulations including the following;

1- Our residents are permitted to go out and make their essential trips such as for grocery, medical appointments or to go for a walk.

2- Physical distancing is always implemented.

3- Universal masking rules and regulations are followed.

4- Visitors are screened before coming in, however no visitors are allowed during the province lockdown.

5- Appropriate personal protective equipment is used.

6- Deep cleaning and sanitization is always followed.

We encourage virtual meetings only and do not do in-person meetings to ensure the safety of our residents.  All our employees are screened on a regular basis and thus, to minimize the risk of COVID-19 there is always bare minimum movement between our employees. Tours are available on an appointment basis, however we at Wiarton Retirement Residence have a virtual tour available now which can be viewed at any now (click here for virtual tour). With this measure you will be at home, safe and can watch the residence. 

Strict measures are to be taken if there is an outbreak, that is, no one is allowed to come in the residence (non-essential) or go anywhere to ensure the safety of our residents and community, while providing with full assistance to our residents and ensuring that quarantine is safe and comfortable for our residents. However, to date we have been very fortunate as there has been a low volume of cases reported in Grey Bruce Peninsula. Moreover, no cases have been reported at our residence thus making Wiarton Retirement Residence an extremely safe and reliable residence for your loved ones! 

We understand that the virus is deadly for seniors, however we also understand that seniors require special care and assistance which we provide at Wiarton Retirement Residence. Our residents are still accessing 100% care and medical assistance which would be complex at their own place if they live alone.

Even with minimum contact between employees and residents, residents still have access to 3 meals a day and 3 snacks, assistance, and housekeeping as well as activities to keep them busy.

Seniors can be susceptible to feelings of loneliness and isolation thus, to ensure that our residents feel happy and engaged at all times we at Wiarton Retirement Residence are always planning different activities for our seniors, we always make every residents birthday a joyful one and we make sure to celebrate all special holidays, while implementing all necessary COVID-19 regulations. To find out about regular updates please click here.

Tips to get through the pandemic

Lastly, we decided to share some tips that we practice with our residents here at Wiarton Retirement Residence to help them get through the anxiety of COVID-19.

  1. Stay socially active

While maintaining social distancing we are still allowed to meet people. We can meet people in a park or in our car parking spaces while ensuring social/physical distancing. This is important for one’s mental health. However, during the lockdown, we should regularly call our friends and family and have updates about their life so that we still feel like a part of their lives and vice versa. To see more tips on how to remain socially active read this article. 

  1. Be physically active

Going for walks, exercising and being active is very important. It helps one stay active mentally and physically and helps one get a break from the daily routine at home. It is a break from the new normal.

  1. Meditate

It is recommended to meditate. Everyone meditates differently. You could listen to music or talk to a loved one about what you’re feeling to receive support. Take breaks from COVID-19 news and read a book or play a game.

  1. Self-care

It is recommended to follow a routine. Sleep at the same time every day and wake up at the same time. Shower every day. Have breakfast and get to your daily activities.

  1. Be kind

It is a hard time for everyone. Be kind to everyone. Help others and get involved in different activities virtually.

  1. Reach out for virtual counselling

If you feel anxious about anything, reach out to your doctor and get a virtual counsellor to receive extra support. 

We understand that this pandemic is hard and complex for everyone however, if we all take care of ourselves and our community, we believe that this time shall pass soon. During such a time we need to have daily updates from our loved ones and see how they are doing at home and be updated about everyone. We believe that soon we all will have access to the vaccination and then in no time we all can go back to our old normal days until then, let’s be a responsible citizen, friend and a community member.

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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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Currently Aging in Place?  Learn about an Alternative to Traditional Retirement Senior Living

2 years ago ·

Currently Aging in Place? Learn about an Alternative to Traditional Retirement Senior Living

Many Canadians want to age in place in their own home or community, they wish to live at home for as long as possible.  Seniors much prefer aging in place compared to facility care, but sometimes physical or cognitive decline makes it difficult to live independently.  The decision to age in place allows seniors to enjoy a sense of independence and comfort that only home can provide.  They also enjoy better health outcomes on average, despite lower care costs.

However, the choice to age in place isn’t always as simple as it may seem.  While staying at home has some obvious advantages, there are also several disadvantages, the biggest one being feelings of loneliness and isolation.  Even with friendly neighbors and family nearby, older adults that live alone often succumb to feeling lonely and socially isolated.

As an aging senior, even if you have made the decision to age in place, it is important to start planning so you are prepared to respond to changes that may occur as you age; such as changes in your health, mobility or social connections. It is also important to consider the unexpected, such as a sudden onset of chronic illness, development of a disability or a change in resources.

Families often presume that traditional retirement homes or institutional care are the only alternatives to living independently in your own home.  However, there are plenty of alternatives to traditional retirement communities or assisted-living facilities.  One of these options is often referred to as “micro-communities”, “residential assisted-living care”, “board and care homes” or “smaller-scale assisted living”.

These communities are known as “homelike residential/assisted living care”, as the name suggests, these are small communities that are great for the senior who wish to avoid a larger, institutional, crowded assisted living facility.

The phrase “assisted living” typically conjures up images of a sterile, hospital-like environment, but there are newer options for seniors who want a high level of care in a warmer, more home-like atmosphere. This unique senior living model means more interaction between staff members and residents in a relaxed environment.

Interested in learning more about residential senior living?  Call us today 519-534-5878 or Request your Information Package Today!

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Retire to the Simpler Life in a Small Town

2 years ago ·

Retire to the Simpler Life in a Small Town

So your considering retiring to a rural retirement community.

You have considered leaving the city to enjoy retirement in a small town.  As you enjoyed past cottage vacations in the hours away from the city, you always felt that life would be better there.  You relish in the slower pace and laid-back lifestyle.  As you travel through those small towns that you would miss if you blinked you are taken back by the overwhelming friendliness of the locals.  As you move further and further from the city you feel the stress leave your body and when you arrive at your destination find that you sleep sounder and easier.  You’ve reached retirement age and love the idea of getting out of the city and settling into a community where you know your doctor as a friend and tradespeople as neighbors, where you are greeted with a smile and warm “Hello” when you pass strangers on the street.

The allure of the small town is compounded by a growing disenchantment with Canada’s large major cities.  Many cities are now riddled with high crime, rampant drug use, racial tension, increasing costs of living and deteriorating infrastructures.

How do you choose a location

You’ve decided you want to retire in a rural town but aren’t sure where.  The first thing your going to want to do is assess your personal needs and then focus on a particular geographical area.  Once you identify these two things you can start evaluating a few towns and narrowing it down to a few choices.  Then finally you need to conduct in-depth, on-site research, carefully studying the communities before making your decision.  Maybe you will get lucky that you are already familiar with your preferred town because you used to cottage with the family there, or grew up/lived there at some point in your life.

Many retirees are searching for something extra — a place where they can make connections and a difference.  To them, a small town seems like the idyllic retirement setting after years of hustling and bustling in the cities and suburbs.  You need to have an attitude that you are going to invest time and effort in the community.”

In rural communities, people may notice a new awning on your house or whether you left 15 minutes early that day, or whether your cat was wandering down the street. “If you ever wanted to be useful or needed, a small town is the place for you,” says Levering co-author of Moving to a Small Town: A Guidebook to Moving From Urban to Rural America. “There is often a bit of social pressure to become involved, and if you are not, you tend to feel what people are thinking about you.”

There are important questions you need to ask yourself before you pull up you roots and relocate to a brand new location.  Are there civic clubs and cultural amenities? Is there a church you can join? Are the medical facilities good? “You want to figure out what you are going to do in that small town, and what is going to make life interesting for you.

Consider naturally occurring retirement communities

One such rural town is South Bruce Peninsula which is considered a naturally occurring retirement community (NORC).  Enjoy small town community living among beautiful landscapes and breath-taking waterfront views in Bruce County.

Residents of South Bruce Peninsula 65 years old and over comprise 30.5% of the total population, while the average for Ontario is 16.7%. Retiring in one of these rural towns means you can be active, get involved in the local community and are close enough to urban areas when you need them.

Considering making that move to a Retirement Community?  Download our FREE copy of the Ultimate Guide to Retirement Living.

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[Press Release] – Affordable Retirement Senior Living in Bruce County Peninsula set to ease senior housing crises in Ontario

2 years ago ·

[Press Release] – Affordable Retirement Senior Living in Bruce County Peninsula set to ease senior housing crises in Ontario

Summary: Wiarton Retirement Residence has opened a new retirement residence with an aim of alleviating retirement residence crisis in Ontario.

Ontario, Canada
Canada, like many other Western countries, is grappling with the issue of a rapidly growing older adults’ population. Statistics Canada project that the number of seniors in Canada is expected to be higher than that of children below fourteen years by the year 2021, with the number rising to ten million by the year 2036. In a Senior Housing Survey that was conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Ontario has a total of 62,633 senior homes, an increment of 2.4 percent from last year’s figure. Analysts are of the opinion that the increment is not good enough. There is a great shortage of homes for older adults, with a prediction that the problem may escalate if no tangible action is taken. In its analysis of the Canadian Senior Housing Dilemma, the DBRS report indicated that housing is a national crisis affecting all Canadians regardless of age, but seniors experience greater problems since they tend to have specific housing needs. CHMC 2019 report observed that prices for senior care facilities are increasing in almost every province, a development which is attributed to the growing demand for senior care communities.

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