What? Me? Move? Why?
Senior Communities Aren’t “Just for Old Folks”
“So, why the heck would I be interested in moving from my current home into senior housing?” “I can’t afford that!” “I have lived here this long, I don’t need to change anything.”
Do these objections sound familiar? Have you heard these from someone you love? Do you need to convince someone that a move may be a good thing? Now, these are all very good questions, but there are also some very good reasons why a move to a senior community might not only be a good idea but perhaps a great one. Perhaps this discussion will help.
Yes, sure, when we were young we could hardly wait to grow up and move out of our parents’ home, get our own apartment (without roommates), or buy our own house. But at a certain time of life, less may be more. And simpler may be better. And planning for the future is always a good thing.
For starters, there are the things seniors get to leave behind. Unloading the chores of the house with repairs, painting, yard work, insurance and taxes is a good thing. Some people leave behind the isolation, loneliness or depression of living in a home with lots of memories but little current stimulation
Moving and downsizing gives one an opportunity to “lighten the load”. It is a reason to eliminate the clutter and donate or give treasures and see them enjoyed and incorporated into different lives. Giving things to the people who will appreciate them is a delight. It can be very gratifying to give that sewing machine to a daughter who sews, that set of blue dishes to a friend who admires it and the tools to a nephew who needs them. (And there are people who specialize in helping do all this.)
What to Expect
A move to a retirement community can offer many things. A senior community can offer the independence of “your own place” but also 24 hour security and emergency services. Choosing a senior community with a variety of cultural, fun, supportive activities and trips offers a sense of community, a chance to make new friendships, learn new things and rise to new challenges. It could mean moving closer to friends, doctors or family. It could mean getting involved in activities the senior always wanted to try but didn’t have the time or opportunity. Since most communities offer the freedom from the “daily grind” by including housekeeping, laundry and meals in the monthly rent, seniors may find they have more time and energy for the fun things of life.
And it is good to plan ahead for assistance and support in case of a decline in health by choosing a senior housing option that offers the possibility of assistance with activities of daily living, if necessary.
There are many factors to consider in making the decision to stay in the current home or to move. What will it cost to make the current residence safe? Are safety bars or features needed in the baths? What to do with stairs? Will ramps be needed? What about subscribing to a safety alert system? Will help need to be hired now, or in the future, for cleaning, cooking, errands, or personal assistance?
At first it might seem prohibitively expensive to move into a senior retirement community. But when doing budgeting, notice if the monthly rent includes utilities, water, garbage, (sometimes even cable TV), meals, housekeeping, laundry, entertainment, and usually some transportation. And there is no longer a consideration for property taxes or homeowners insurance. Sometimes the senior retirement community is a true value by comparison. A good side-by-side comparison of current and projected expenditures for the homes being considered is a very useful tool and I recommend working one up.
Helping seniors make the best decisions sometimes requires a magnitude of finesse but it will be rewarded by the security, happiness and confidence you and your senior will have once those decisions have been made.
WHAT? ME? MOVE? WHY?
What? Me? Move? Why?