Written by Matt Del Vecchio
Founder and President of Lianas Services – Retirement Home Search and Transition Support
Whether you are considering a move into a retirement home or if you are part of the “Sandwich Generation” that is concerned about the health and well being of your parents, the thought process of potentially making the big move is very often emotional, overwhelming and confusing.
Here are some pitfalls to avoid when considering a move:
Waiting Too Long
It is only human nature to want to stay at home as long as possible. However, you will be in a much better position to move into a retirement home when you are in control of the situation. Be proactive instead of reactive. Be aware of warning signs such as risks of slips and falls, mobility challenges, cognitive issues, safety and security, nutrition, loneliness and caregiver stress. They tend to become more prevalent as one ages which increases the risk of creating a reactive scenario as opposed to the desired proactive option. A frequent comment after a move-in is “I should have done this a long time ago”.
Rushing Into a Move
At the other end of the spectrum, you should try not to rush things if you have the luxury of time. This can be an emotional, challenging time for families. Try to plant seeds, do your research, take some tours and keep the lines of communication open with parents and family members. Nobody likes surprises, and seniors, specifically, do not like to be rushed and would prefer to do things on their terms.
Geographic Convenience for Adult Children
Location is one of the most important features when deciding on a retirement home. However, avoid the trap of choosing a residence solely based on geography. The question needs to be “What is best for mom?” and not “What is best for me?”. Important features such as proper care levels; staff-to-resident’s ratios; 24/7 nursing care; amenities; culinary options; environment; culture; safety and security all play an important role in the decision making process.
Finding the Ideal Retirement Home on Your Own
The search process is extremely time consuming. In many cases, it can easily exceed 100 hours. It can be confusing, stressful, emotional and overwhelming. Talk to friends and other family members that have been through the process for guidance and support. Do research on line. Perhaps the easiest thing to do is to call a transition specialist like Lianas Services. Most companies providing retirement home search services do not charge any fees to their clients as they are supported by the retirement communities.
In general, the thought of moving into a retirement home can be daunting. However, with proper planning, guidance and support, the end result can be fulfilling and rewarding. Many new residents will initially need some time to adjust but it is quite common to see significant benefits including an enhanced social life, improved nutrition levels, higher levels of care and a secure and safe environment.
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