Retirement Living- Making Decisions

Written by Shirley Price

Once we are into our 50s and 60s most of us start to give a lot more thought to where and how we are going to live as we continue to age. Retirement living and making decisions of where you are going to possibly spend your final years is a scary thought, but something you should address for yourself while you still can.  Who would have thought how fast the years would go by and that the time would come when these things would have to be considered?

Seniors enjoying their independence .

Like me you have probably watched friends and relatives dealing with issues with their aging parents or you may have even been dealing with your own parent’s loss of independence. It is a constant reminder of how life changes as we get old and what our own ability will be to stay living at home and being independent. Planning retirement living is a big consideration.

As we consider what is best for our aging parent sometimes it just isn’t possible to do what they or we would really like to for them.  Sometimes heath issues dictate the decisions, also finances or physical location can play a factor.

Over the years I have seen families dealing with their aging parents, having the worry of making retirement living decisions on what’s the best accommodation option for them in their old age when they are no longer able to be independent.  As well they are often dealing with the guilt of having to make less than ideal decisions for their parents.

Things have changed a lot in recent years, where at one time many elderly were determined to stay in their house or apartment, often living alone. They stayed until they were just not able to care for themselves any longer.  From there they had to go into a home, stay with family or just passed away.

Today many seniors are taking the initiative and making their own decisions of where and how they will live through their retirement years, and making that decision much sooner. Often they will decide to live in a retirement community of their own choosing in order to have a better way of life as they age. There are so many lovely places around that offer excellent accommodation, companionship, and a social life.  They can be self sufficient, cooking for themselves, or they can join others in the dining room where meals are prepared for them.  They have outings and lots of entertainment.

Of course making a decision to leave your home is a huge one, and a big part of this is the realization that for many it will probably be their last move before they die. Some people put off making the decision to move much too late and find it distressing as they are too old to adjust and end up not getting the enjoyment and company that they could have.

My Aunt and Uncle lived in a small community; to get to the nearest town or city they had to drive for almost an hour on quite treacherous roads.  Being in such a small community had driven my aunt crazy for years, so she was always driving to the city to shop and to visit other relatives. This got to be a lot more of a challenge as she aged, especially the driving.  She wanted to sell their house and move to something more suitable for a number of years but her husband, my uncle didn’t want to leave the house and the garden that they had lived in for over 30 years. Besides my aunts wish to move my uncle was beginning to have a problem coping with all the work in the garden that he had once loved . Eventually he gave in and agreed to look into retirement living communities and agreed to making a move.

They purchased a new condo in a senior community and like so many people discover, they wished they had made the move years earlier. The complex had a club house where they got together with their neighbors to have parties, play cards etc. They made great friends, took trips and everything they needed from shopping to medical services was so convenient.  It was the perfect situation for them.

Another couple that had been disabled for years but had still managed to stay living in their home on a large piece of property eventually decided to go into a senior facility. They too wished that they had made their move sooner. They had their own small apartment in the facility, they were free to come and go whenever they wanted, there’s always medical help available for those that need it. They have nice grounds that they can appreciate without having to worry about looking after it. They love their life there and have a blast. They are so busy living life these days.  They have special events that family members can attend and a family barbeque every couple of months.

When you think about it, it makes much more sense to make some sensible decisions while you are still able to and not put this type of decision on your family. Make up your mind how and where you want to live and start checking out the options.

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