Moving into a senior living community can be overwhelming. How do you know which senior lifestyle option is the best fit for your changing needs? How can you pack up a lifetime of belongings? How will you know when it’s time to move? We looked at some of the common concerns and how you can prepare for a seamless transition into your new senior living home.
When is it time to consider a move to a senior community?
Let’s face it. Most of us spend our lives being independent, taking care of ourselves and our families while juggling other multiple obligations. The thought of needing extra care or oversight may be hard to comprehend. But there are certain red flags that suggest it may be time to consider a change:
- Your home is no longer as clean and tidy as it used to be.
- Stairs and other physical challenges in the home are intimidating or even frightening.
- You are having trouble remembering to eat regular meals or take your medications correctly each day.
- Food in your refrigerator and pantry is outdated or spoiled.
- Bills are misplaced, or you no longer remember to pay them on time.
- You find yourself forgetting to turn off appliances.
If you are noticing these or other concerns, it may be time to consider moving to a senior living community or facility.
Choosing the right community
Too many people think senior living equals an institutional nursing home. The reality is that senior living communities are often vibrant, thriving areas where residents mingle and continue to live independently while enjoying varying levels oversight and security. Senior living options typically offer levels of care, ranging from truly independent living with access to services as needed, to assisted living communities that help you with personal care, meals, and medications. Those with chronic, disabling conditions may need long-term care, with around-the-clock assistance, while seniors who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia may be best served by a memory care facility.
Sifting through the choices can be daunting, especially when seniors and their families try to navigate the process alone. In the United States, there are almost 30,000 assisted living facilities. A trained eldercare consultant or eldercare advisor can help seniors and their families determine their individual needs and steer them to the best local options. While one person might want an active community that allows them to keep Fluffy, another might want something a little quieter with more privacy and autonomy. An expert advisor often knows which local senior care living communities meet those needs.
Can I afford this?
Many people mistakenly believe senior living is outside of their budgets. Consider, however, how much you spend regularly on your home, utilities, insurance, food, internet access, home repairs, regular maintenance and other household expenses. These are usually included in the senior living community monthly fee.
Your family home may have been perfect when the kids were growing or the grandchildren were visiting. It holds memories and mementos of years gone by. But its value may diminish when you consider how much you are paying to heat rooms that are rarely opened. Why not convert your home equity into a senior lifestyle where you will flourish?
Packing up the house
You’ve found the perfect senior living arrangement. You’re ready to move on. But how can you fit several thousand square feet of stuff into a smaller senior home or apartment?
You can’t. Now is the time to gather the adult children and hand over their school report cards and the crafts they made you when they were 8. Family photos and movies can be converted digitally and shared with everyone. Heirlooms can be doled out to friends and relatives. Bring along your favorite furniture, or splurge and buy something luxurious and comfortable for your new domicile. Remember, you don’t need the stuff to keep the memories. If the process is overwhelming, consider choosing what you want to keep and hiring a moving company that specializes in senior downsizing. Your friends at Senior Living Advisor can refer you to these and many other local resources.
Your next chapter may be the greatest chapter, as you find yourself surrounded by other vibrant seniors who are ready to include you in their plans. Contact Senior Living Advisor now to find out what’s out there in the Indianapolis area and how you can thrive in the right senior living environment.