You’ve finished researching senior living communities and found the right fit – whether it’s for yourself or a parent. The next step? Deciding when to move. Some individuals are ready to move into their new digs right away or have a firm timeline. Others, though, may be reluctant to move or are comfortable at home.
Where seniors once considered moving as a last resort, such as after a crisis, loss of a loved one or when no other choice was available, times are thankfully different today. Trends show seniors making proactive changes in their lives. These can include long-time married couples looking for freedom or active social life, newly married couples just starting out, to vibrant singles, either widowed or divorced.
Divorced seniors represent one of the largest growing segments in this group. “While divorce is currently on the decline for younger couples, divorce among Americans 50+ has more than doubled since the 1990s,” reports the website, LoveandCompany.org. “This trend, called ‘Gray Divorce,’ will shape how senior living communities think about floor plan sizes, service options and social opportunities on and off-site.”
Because of these trends, today’s innovative senior communities are catering to new need as well as an array of ages, including adults just turning 55. Innovative amenities – such as fresh (farm-to-table) dining options, lifelong learning opportunities (classes, activities, and hobbies), and group travel – all heighten the interest for the 55 and older crowd.
So, when is the right time to move?
Start with visualizing your needs and mapping a strategy around them, including 1) needs right now, 2) needs one year from now, and 3), needs in five years. Pressing needs might include convenience to shopping or help around the house. Important, but not quite immediate needs could be taking up a new hobby or reducing your driving time. Then, what do you see as essential to your well-being in five years? This might be eliminating homeownership worries or having access to personal care.
Write down your needs in each phase and prioritize; then clarify or realign them. You may even decide some of the things you thought satisfactory to attain in five years (i.e., no home maintenance) would be preferable to have much sooner.
Another factor is your current health. If you’re looking for a community that offers a continuum of care, is good health a prerequisite before moving? Health may facilitate or expedite your decision. According to Senior Housing Solutions, this is important to consider, and that “people who wait for a crisis to occur or have progressive medical conditions are frequently denied residency.”
- integral is your mindset. Moving to a senior living community is something to look forward to, not resign yourself to. And some communities have waiting lists. When you find the right fit, you probably won’t regret moving sooner rather than later. There are many benefits of joining a community you love, and if you make the right decision, it should be one you’ll never regret.
Ten signs that you (or a loved one) are ready to move:
- Maintenance. There’s too much work around the house. Whether it’s cleaning or yard work, it has become more than a chore and interfering with the things you want to do.
- Space. Where spaciousness was once a plus – when raising a family, for instance – it is now a hindrance. Is your home difficult to clean and expensive to maintain? Maybe you’re tired of managing so much ‘stuff,’ contents that fill the nooks and crannies. Why not move and give away some of the mementos to loved ones, now? Then you both can enjoy and share the gift.
- Mobility. Getting around is not as easy as it used to be, such as having too many stairs to climb or a bathtub not easily accessible.
- Driving. You might not be as confident driving or avoid night driving. It could be that you’re tired of maintaining a vehicle. All signal that it may be time to move.
- Cooking. For years, meals were a highlight of family time. But as you age and family dynamics change, cooking isn’t the family event it once was. Not to mention that it’s more challenging to shop and prepare meals for smaller numbers.
- Social. Living on your own can be lonely. You may have limited access to activities or friends – and this can lead to isolation and depression. By moving into a community with like-minded adults, you can reconnect and reenergize your life.
- Hassles. Maintaining your schedule isn’t as easy as it used to be. Even daily routines, from personal care to running errands or shopping, have become challenging.
- Health. If you’ve noticed physical or mental health changes – it may be time for new surroundings and some added care.
- Security. Possibly you don’t feel secure in your present home any longer, or the neighborhood has changed. Or perhaps you’re keen to have friends nearby or live on secured grounds.
- Time. Your present home may take up too much of your time. Moving to a retirement community will free up your schedule so you can try new things, take up a hobby, volunteer more or travel.
See our checklist at https://www.kapdev.com/family-checklist.
If the time is right for you or a loved one to move, contact Kaplan today. We can help with your journey and ensure the transition is smooth and easy – and give all the attention you need.