Photo by James Hose Jr on Unsplash
Retirement looks a lot different than it did 50 years ago. People can expect to live longer and healthier lives long after they’ve retired from work. It makes sense that your parents want to make the most out of this chapter of their lives.
Retirement communities are becoming a popular choice for seniors who are looking for a place that will look after their social, mental, and physical needs as they get older. There are communities all over the country with great facilities.
So how do you help your parents choose their retirement community?
What is a retirement community?
Popular in certain countries (especially the US), a retirement community is a village or complex that has been specially designed to meet the needs of older people when they are partially or fully retired.
They provide a number of shared services and facilities and arrange events and activities for the residents.
In terms of medical services, different retirement communities have different levels of care and assistance available from basic help to full-time nursing care.
Take their feelings into account
You’re probably excited for your parents. After all, they’ve probably spent most of their lives working hard, paying their taxes, and raising kids. It’s about time they kicked back and enjoyed life, right?
It’s not always as simple as that for the person retiring. This transition can cause a lot of anxiety and even depression in some people as they come to terms with this huge life change. Some people are really excited to enter this phase, others aren’t. They might be worried about how they’ll be treated as they age. Reassure them that these facilities are very well regulated and there are a number of trusted nursing home abuse attorneys who are making sure that these facilities are safe.
Be patient and try not to push them to make any decisions until they’re ready.
Choose the right type of care for their needs
An important part of choosing the right retirement community is ensuring that it has the right level of medical care facilities your parents might need. Even if they enter retirement perfectly healthy, they may need more support as they age. Or, if they already have medical and care needs, then they will need facilities that can cope with those needs and any progression.
Most retirement communities offer independent living options, which allow you to live completely independently and take advantage of all of the facilities and social interactions it has to offer. Services such as general medical care, housekeeping and cleaning, event planning, and fitness are popular.
If and when your parents need more care, there is assisted living and nursing care available. There are even specialist memory and dementia services that provide a safe and secure environment.
Keeping active and socializing is really important as you get older. One of the main benefits of retirement communities is that they offer a great variety of leisure, exercise, and educational opportunities for residents to get involved in.
Pick the right location
While it’s natural to want your parents to be close by, think about what is best for them. Perhaps they want a change of scenery or better weather that just isn’t available where you currently live. Of course, you’ll want the place they choose to be accessible via car or plane so that you can visit regularly and they won’t feel isolated.
Visit a few different places
Even if your parents have their hearts set on a particular community, it’s a good idea to visit a few for the purposes of comparison, even if it is just to make yourself certain that you’ve made the right choice.
Try and see as much of the community as possible and even go to some of the events. Talk to existing residents who will be able to give you an honest view of what it’s like to live there.
Ask about the social events and look at the schedule for previous months. Many facilities will put on a special timetable for visitors to portray the community in its best possible life. By looking at previous timetables, you’ll be able to get a better view.
Helping your parents during this next phase of their lives can bring up some mixed emotions for everyone involved. Some people will need more help and advice than others, and may not need any help from you at all, simply your support. After all, they’ve worked hard all of their lives, and now is the time to relax and enjoy themselves.
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