Retirement means more time at hand; time you can dedicate to the things you truly love. Some people decide to take highways and byways of the world upon retirement. Others invest in their long-loved hobbies, and then there are those with deeper pockets who crave finding their own luxurious hideaway.
The other day, I was having a conversation with “Emily,” a Sixty and Me member, about the elder care decisions that her family was facing. Emily, in her 60s, was starting to realize that her mom, in her 80s, might need to move into an assisted living facility or nursing home soon.
Let’s be honest. Very few of us like the idea of living in an assisted living facility.
Setting aside the small imperfections of everyday life, we love our homes. They are comfortable, familiar and close to the entertainment options that we enjoy.
Whether we are in our 60s, 70s or beyond, we also want to maintain our sense of independence. After all, we’ve done a pretty good job of looking after ourselves so far, thank you very much.
Imagine a senior living option that takes care of everything. Picture living in a safe, serene and social environment in which your every need, from luxury accommodation to health care, is taken care of. Imagine never having to move again, no matter what happens to your health. These are just a few of the many promises of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs).
Helping your mom or dad to move into a senior care facility can be a stressful, chaotic process. Not only do you have the usual stress that comes with any move, but, you may also have to deal with your loved one’s emotional reaction to being asked to move to a new home.
Wow! Choosing an assisted living facility is tough! This was one of the many thoughts that ran through my head as I spoke with one of the women in our community about her experience in finding a senior living facility for her 85-year-old mom.
Sarah (not her real name), explained that she had recently had to move her mother out of her first assisted living community due to some problems with the staff. While not abusive, in her opinion, the staff were neglectful, unfriendly and uninterested in the needs of the residents.
Moving one or both parents to a senior care facility is an emotional decision for everyone involved. The person moving may feel sad that they are leaving their home behind. They may also feel frustrated that they are being asked to give up some of their independence.
There are tons of articles out there to help you pick a senior living community. Does the world really need one more? Yes! The reason that I say this is that most of the senior living content out there focuses on the easy questions – what is included, the different kinds of facilities and the services that they provide.
For most of our lives, we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about assisted living and nursing home facilities. In our 30s, 40s and even 50s, the people closest to us are, generally speaking, in good health.
The idea that we might, ourselves, need to move to an assisted living community is an even more distant possibility. We simply can’t imagine a time when our mobility, strength, balance or health have declined to the point that we need help with our day-to-day tasks.
Few milestones in life are harder than deciding whether nursing home care makes sense for a loved one. Unfortunately, as women in our 60s and 70s, many of us will face this decision in the next few years. Whether we have to move one of our parents into a nursing home or are concerned about the health and safety of an older sibling, finding the best possible facility is critically important.