How to discuss retirement living options

When is the right time to move to a retirement community? How should I discuss this with my parent? 

These are commonly asked questions. We’ve found that there’s no magic age or time in someone’s life. Everyone has different needs and preferences for how they want to live as they get older.

It can be difficult to discuss retirement living with your parent. However, the most important thing your family can do is start an open conversation. Here are a few ways to break the ice:

Discuss how home maintenance is going

Talk to your parents about the upkeep of their house. Are the gardens not looking as good as they once did? Yard work is strenuous. Your loved one might need some help to keep the yard looking neat. Ask how they are managing to keep the house clean and tidy.

Talk about transportation

Do your parents still drive? If not, how easy is it for them to arrange transportation on their own?

Ask about eating habits

Are they eating three nutritious meals a day? Or are they relying on frozen or processed food because they prefer the little preparation that’s involved?

Find out how they spend their time

Aside from watching TV, how else is your loved one staying busy? Do they still have friends living nearby? Do they regularly socialize? Are there events in the community they participate in, or do they stay home instead?

The truth is, change is difficult for many people. Despite burdensome home maintenance, poor eating habits, isolation or the worry about who to call in an emergency, some older adults respond negatively when family members broach the subject of retirement home living.

To assist in the conversation, here are some of the most common objections and how retirement living might ease even the worst case of the “I’m-Not-Readies:”

“How will I manage the move?”

Leaving a home you have lived in your entire adult life can be a crippling roadblock to moving.  This process is more than just the sale of a house or giving away old furniture; it’s the act of leaving behind treasured memories and admitting that it’s time to move on.  Some people have chosen to move in gradually.  We know that the most successful transitions from home to residence happen when there is a lot of physical and emotional support.

“I’ll be bored”

 Monthly activity calendars cater to the interests of the community, offering something for everyone. At Seasons, our Fun Manager meets with each new resident to understand what he or she likes to do for fun.  If their favourite activities aren’t on the calendar, we will try to incorporate it in the future. Wii bowling tournaments are common and pub nights are popular, with local entertainers creating a fun, social atmosphere.

“I don’t want to give up my freedom”

Our independent living residents may come and go as they please.  We kindly ask that they sign in and out of the building for safety reasons, but there are no restrictions on where or when they leave. Plus, family and friends are able to visit whenever they please.

Guess what? When you stop having to grocery shop, prepare meals, clean the house and tackle the yard work your freedom increases.  It is at this point that you become free to do whatever you enjoy most – catching up with a friend, hosting family members for a meal in the dining room, playing cards, exercising or reading a good book, as examples.

Once they are open to it, visit a few retirement communities to find the right fit.

The team at Seasons Retirement Communities encourages you to schedule a personal visit so we may discuss your options and answer any questions you have.