Talking to a loved one about moving into a retirement community is never an easy conversation to have. Too often, people wait until there is a drastic change in health, and moving into a retirement home turns into a necessity.
Seasons Retirement Communities staff is often asked, “When is the right time to make the move to retirement living?” There is no one simple answer since every situation is unique, but making a plan before a crisis happens is important to allow for a smooth transition into a retirement community.
Tamasin Dineen, Sales Coach at Seasons who has previously held the positions of General Manager and Leasing Manager, explains, “Many people view it as a taboo conversation; they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But talking about it sooner rather than later and also speaking about it casually is often the best strategy. It is okay to ask mom and dad what they see as their next steps and whether they would consider downsizing.”
Tamasin advises it is always better to plan ahead rather than react in a crisis situation. “I recently gave a woman a tour who is just noticing she is becoming a bit forgetful, and she wants to make decisions for herself now. She doesn’t want her family or friends to have to worry about that. Again, it is that casual conversation.”
Some Seasons residents do not require any assistance with the activities of daily life but have decided to move in for safety, peace of mind, and the comradery of being with people their age. “I think many seniors have these thoughts of being alone, but that is the furthest thing from what we have to offer at Seasons,” shares Tamasin.
Prospective residents and their families ask many different questions when contemplating the move to a retirement home, but one that comes up regularly is, “Am I going to lose my independence?” Tamasin assures, “I think that is the biggest concern. The children are more concerned about safety and things like emergency call systems. Seniors are also asking what kind of activities are available at a Seasons community.”
Tamasin also notes that food is normally something people are curious about. “I always say the food isn’t going to be like the meals you made for your family on a Sunday evening, but I’ll add thank goodness because the food here is so much better than what I would make!” Other people move to a retirement community because they desire the care and support Seasons can provide. Some residents see an increase in their independence once they move in, courtesy of activities and fitness classes, a health and wellness team, and home-cooked and well-balanced meals, leading to happier lives.
Caregiver burnout is characterized as a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. It may be accompanied by a change in attitude, from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. This can occur when caregivers don’t have the help they need or if they try to do more than they are able, physically or financially.
Tamasin says many feelings factor into being a caregiver, particularly for a spouse who is considering a new living situation. “Guilt and failure are often at the forefront. A caregiver will feel disheartened because they aren’t able to take care of their husband or wife any longer. If the family home needs to be sold, that only adds to the difficulty of the situation. Seasons is here to help people with their transition into a new living situation. There is no shame in someone accepting help. That’s why we are here.”
When someone makes the move to Seasons, many times they will share they wish they had done it sooner. “It takes the stress out of their lives. They can still love and care for their spouse while living with us but knowing our support is there makes all the difference for them,” concludes Tamasin.