Are you tired of all of the upkeep that comes with home maintenance? Maybe many of your friends from the neighborhood have moved to be closer to family or have recently decided to downsize. Are you just downright lonely now that the kids have moved out and away? Has getting around and doing everyday things such as driving and walking become more difficult? Perhaps your children have been suggesting that you look at a senior living community and you have been resisting.
If any of these reasons or others, sound just like you, maybe it IS time to seriously consider moving to a senior living community. If you have been tempted to check out senior living communities around your area or maybe even clear across the county, don’t let notions or distant memories of your parent’s and grandparent’s senior years scare you away. Today’s senior living communities truly offer something for everyone and you would be surprised just how many seniors wish they would have taken the plunge years earlier.
However, as with any big lifestyle change, there are some important issues to consider. Here are some tips on making the MOVE that you might find helpful.
Meet with your children, other family members or close friends early on in the process to discuss that you are contemplating a move. Solicit their feedback. Your children may have been thinking the same thing and may be relieved when you start the dialogue yourself as they may not have known or wanted to initiate the conversation. They also may have conflicting views of what a senior living community is and not know everything it has to offer, or they might think you “aren’t old enough” to make such a move. The biggest thing is to make sure you are in control of the decision and to make the move sooner than later so you can enjoy everything the community has to offer, as well as involve your close ones in the process early on to help educate them on the pros and cons of making such a move.
Options abound, so do your homework. Start first by checking out a community on its website, followed up by a call to its marketing department. If you like what you hear, make an appointment to visit the community. By making an appointment, the staff will have plenty of time to spend with you and give you a tour. The more information your arm yourself with, the easier it will be for you to make that final decision on a new home. And, make notes after each visit. You will be inundated with information and you want to make certain that you are not confusing key facts for each community. Also, take time to eat at the community to get a good sense for the food and the general atmosphere. Most marketing staffs will make this accommodation.
Vocalize. Talk with your family about your impressions of the communities you visit. Seek their opinions if you are having a difficult time narrowing down the finalists. Often times, different options and amenities stand out to different people. See what they think, remembering it is ultimately your decision as you will be the one living there.
Exhale. You have successfully jumped over the first hurdle…continue to move forward and make a decision. Once you pick a move date, you can work directly with a marketing representative to help make a smooth transition with downsizing, moving and even decorating. No doubt you’ve discovered or are soon to discover all that make senior living communities a wonderful living option. After all, won’t it be nice to leave the fall raking to someone else?
About Michael Eaton
Michael Eaton is regional marketing & sales manager for LifeCare Services (LCS). LCS is the management company for Clare Oaks, a continuing care retirement community in Bartlett, Ill. With 325 residents, the community offers a variety of apartments and cottage for independent living, residences for assisted living and memory support care, or a skilled nursing care. For more info., visit www.clareoaks.com.
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