Moving out of your home is alway stressful and requires not only physical labor but also a leap of faith; the longer we stay in one place, the more attached we become to the familiar surroundings. But for older adults, there is a right time to make a move into senior’s housing, and research has shown that a living in a retirement community can extend life and provide not only health support but also important social interaction to combat isolation.
While many seniors wish to age in place for as long as possible, if older adults wait too long, they may need too much care for a retirement community and will be eligible only for a long-term care facility. By remaining at home until health or cognitive problems force a move, older adults may have missed out on years living in pleasant surrounding with enriching programs, a sense of community and help with housekeeping, cooking and transportation.
If an elderly loved one is lucky enough to find and afford a continuing care retirement community, which has multiple levels of care in one place, when their name comes up on the waiting list, it might be time to take the plunge. Initially, seniors may elect independent living quarters with a full kitchen and parking and then when the time is right, residents can shift to assisted living and then skilled nursing if necessary. According to a report by the Boston Globe, adult children may fear damaging their relationship with aging parents by pushing a move into a retirement home but sometimes, with some outside help in the form of a care manger, older adults can begin to understand when aging in place is no longer in their best interest.
The take-away is that although today’s society is all for aging in place, there may be a small window of opportunity for older adults to make the leap and accept a move into a retirement community. Once settled in, fear of the unknown will abate and seniors who are enjoying their new-found friends, relief from worry and new experiences so much, they may wonder why they waited so long.