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Challenges and the Decision to Move Into a Retirement Home

Cathy Gordon, January 29, 2013

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There are many reasons why a senior might decide to move into a retirement home. It's always a good idea to start planning your transition into a retirement community long before you actually do. Of course your needs may change over time, but it will give you and your family a chance to make key decisions about your move. When determining when is the right time to move into a retirement community, health and personal needs are important factors to consider.

Typically, we see seniors deciding to move into retirement communities when they are having difficulty performing basic daily tasks, or desire freedom from those kinds of tasks. Many retirees decide they no longer want to maintain a lawn and a house, and instead want greater opportunities to pursue their interests or travel. Retirement communities employ maintenance people who handle the labour intensive tasks associated with home ownership. Other retirees who experience difficulty with tasks such as dressing themselves, cooking daily meals, have health concerns or no longer feel comfortable living alone, may choose an retirement community that can free them of these tasks and offer some assistance.

Medical needs are a major consideration. If you need medical assistance frequently, or in certain circumstances, quickly, a retirement community can be the answer. Most retirement communities have nurses on staff, and others have more sophisticated medical professionals and equipment available as well. Nurses or other professionals can ensure you get your medication dispensed regularly and on time.

Retirement communities are also great places for socialization and to participate in activities. Some people choose to join a retirement community to meet new people after their spouse passes away, or their own community involvement diminishes as a result of declining health. Sometimes the choice to move comes from the desire to learn about art, stay in shape with exercise programs, or compete in sports or games with fellow retirees.  We have often revisited past clients amazed at how much more active they are in their new environment.

Whatever your reasons for moving into a retirement community, there are options to meet your needs. Think about your lifestyle, and what you want your life to be like as a retiree. Consider what you can do, and what you want to do.

Written by Cathy Gordon

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