We know it’s all about freedom and independence. And we also know that age is just a number; you’re still you, no matter how many birthday candles you’ve blown out. Getting older isn’t so much about the end of something as it is the beginning of something new. The next stage. What we’re talking about is freedom and independence, and how best to ensure you’re living the life you want, on your terms. The where and how, that’s up to you.
Still, things change. There’s no denying that as we age, our needs become different. What was once a breeze – household chores, running up the stairs, taking care of the everyday – can become a pain, the very things that get in the way of enjoying life. So, if it’s really about freedom, then a change may be in order.
“I wish I’d done this years ago.”
We hear this all the time. It’s the feeling you get when you suddenly realize you’d been limiting your independence simply by sticking with your old ways. You’ve never needed a caregiver or even an extra hand before, so why now? And then when you finally take the step, you wonder what took you so long…because now you can get back to what really matters, without the little things getting in the way.
How do I know for sure if I’m ready?
Remember that this is a major decision, and you may need to take some time to work through the idea before you make up your mind. It is rarely a snap decision. There are a few things to think about, which may indicate that a senior living lifestyle option may be your best next step:
- Are your social and emotional needs being met living at home? Do you still have friends, hobbies, volunteer opportunities that you enjoy? If you are noticing that you are feeling more isolated as time goes by, a senior living residence may be a good option. There, you will be part of a community of new friends, plus have support when you need it.
- Are you feeling more overwhelmed than inspired by taking care of your home? Constant oversight of needed home maintenance and repairs is a big job for anyone, let alone the day-to-day cleaning and general upkeep required. If you are not enjoying the work of having a home as much as you used to, moving to a place where someone else worries about it may be a good option.
- Are you still able to function day to day, getting to your appointments, buying groceries, preparing meals and taking care of your personal hygiene? What about medications? In senior living communities, nutritious and delicious meals are prepared fresh daily, and there is support available to make sure your every need is satisfied.
- Do you have any safety risks at home? Is it getting more likely that you could fall or injure yourself in your home? If you have mobility challenges, how accessible is the bathroom or front entrance? If changes are needed to make the home more functional, are they affordable? A move into a retirement residence can provide you and your family caregiver with peace of mind knowing the environment is designed specifically for seniors like you.
- Are you able to continue making sound financial and health-related decisions? Are you meeting your financial obligations, like household bills? If you have any concerns, it may be time to consider another lifestyle option better suited to your changing needs.
There is no right or wrong way for you to come to your decision. These questions are just meant to help you start thinking about factors that could indicate a change might be good for you. Perhaps soon, or maybe later, but definitely before it’s a necessity. Reach out to your family and friends and get their input too.
Remember that the choice to make a move to a senior living residence is very personal, and it is not tied to a specific age or milestone. For most people, it’s about recognizing when the time is right and exploring the options available, and then making that decision to move to a place where they can live their life to the fullest extent possible. Remember, it’s about you enjoying your life, your way.
What senior living options are available?
There are two main types of senior living communities: retirement residences and long term care homes. Retirement residences offer a range of lifestyle options to suit your needs and preferences. The terminology varies slightly between provinces, but they generally include: independent living, where residents need little to no support; independent supportive living, where residents may want help with daily activities like taking medication; assisted living, where residents need some daily care or help with things like dressing, medication and getting to the dining room); memory care, for people living with dementia; short term stays; and respite care. Learn more about Revera retirement homes.
Revera’s long term care facilities care for people who can no longer live independently, and need supervised care and support. If you have more complex care needs and require the specialized environment provided in a long term care home, our caring and compassionate staff are ready to welcome you. Learn more about Revera’s long term care homes, or about making the move to long term care.
Want to know more about the difference between retirement living and long term care, or how much they cost? We’ve got you covered. That’s why we created this guide in the first place: to make it all just a little easier to plan. The next chapter is about understanding the various senior living options, helping you think through which might be best for you.