6 Ways to Establish a Sense of Independence while Living at a Long-Term Care or Retirement Community 

Making the transition to long-term care or retirement living can invoke a wide range of emotions, which might include feeling a loss of independence. However, it’s important to know that you’re not alone in this process and many other people are going through the same thing. Most importantly, understand that long-term care or retirement residences are only there to support you in your journey and there are many different ways to maintain a strong sense of independence.  

Here are a few ways to feel more independent while making the transition to long-term care or retirement living: 

  1. Advocate for yourself 

Don’t forget that you are your biggest advocate throughout life, and this sentiment rings true even if you are making the transition to long-term care or retirement living. Ultimately, you can remain strong and steady in expressing your needs and wants, even in assisted living, long-term care, or retirement living. Most importantly, be vocal about communicating your needs, wants, and preferences to team members and providers who are involved in your care. Knowing how to express your needs and wants in a clear manner to all those around you will ensure that your experience is tailored to the life you wish to live.  

  1. Ask questions 

Get comfortable with the idea of asking for support when you need it. Ultimately, there will be a lot of change to settle into, and everyone is deserving of clarity and comfort in the places that they live. If you’re unsure about anything, don’t hesitate to ask for more clarity surrounding any rules and regulations that are in place at the residence, along with what types of services are available to you. Seeking clarification when needed will not only help ease anxiety over the things you’re uncertain about, but this will also set precedent for how you wish care providers to communicate with you.  

  1. Stay positive 

Being open-minded about all aspects of this process will help you see that there are a lot of things to be excited about within this new experience. For the most part, you can rest assured that there’s always a team of dedicated professionals working around the clock to ensure that you’re receiving the best care possible and having a good time at the residence. Most importantly, you won’t have to worry about many of the grueling activities that come with living on your own, such as cleaning, home maintenance, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and coordinating social activities.   

  1. Keep learning 

Taking the right steps to invest in personal growth and development can help promote feelings of self-sufficiency and independence. That said, learning new skills while living at a long-term care or retirement residence can be especially beneficial when it comes to feeling more empowered and in control of your life. More specifically, learning how to use new forms of technology or even social media can keep you entertained while helping you stay connected to your loved ones.  

  1. Get connected 

Finding ways to stay connected with your friends and family is very important when you’re making the transition to long-term care or retirement living. As you’re still adjusting to a new lifestyle, knowing how to effectively maintain connections with your loved ones can help foster a stronger sense of stability and belonging, while enhancing your emotional well-being. Not to mention, strengthening these relationships will help you feel more in control of the social aspects of your life. 

  1. Stay Social 

Practicing independence doesn’t have to happen alone. While living at a long-term care or retirement residence, you’re in the presence of a very diverse group of people – all of which, can probably relate to how you’re feeling. Participating in activities, engaging with others, and establishing a strong social circle (both within and outside of the residence) will help you feel more connected to your community and yourself. This feeling of belonging allows for a more secure sense of independence.  

A strong sense of independence is essential to making a healthy transition to long-term care and retirement living, and feeling this way can most certainly enrich your entire experience at the residence. Omni is dedicated to supporting our residents at any stage of life, and we strive to make this experience seamless and enjoyable. Visit our Frequently Asked Questions for more information on residences, programming, and what life looks like at Omni.