Introduction to Transitioning to Adult-Style Living
The new year is a natural time of transition. Some of us have vowed to return to the gym, eat healthier, or focus on improving finances. For some, this year will bring a transition from independent living to a long-term care or retirement community. Such a major life change can be challenging, but there are several reasons to be excited.
Health and Wellness in Adult-Style Living
- Professional Medical Care: Long-term care and retirement living facilities have a highly skilled team of professionals who are well-equipped to care for residents with a wide variety of medical needs. These communities also have access to the right medical equipment and medical professionals to help manage specialized healthcare services for residents in need.
- Nutritional Meals and Exercise Programs: These communities also focus on keeping residents healthy by serving nutritional meals, encouraging body strength through exercise programs
- Mental Stimulation: Individual and group activities are also organized that prioritize brain health and keeping minds sharp.
Resident’s will spend more time living their best life and less time worrying about the details in long-term care and retirement living communities.
- Onsite Services: Many of the daily tasks that may have required extra help or coordination like grocery shopping, sending mail, visiting the gym, managing utilities, and doing chores around the house are all services that are either located onsite or managed by staff in long-term care and retirement living communities. No more dish duty, no more home maintenance surprises, and no more worrying about driving or finding a ride to run errands.
Living in Community
Arguably the most valuable benefit of moving into long-term care and retirement living is the supportive and active community.
- Building New Relationships: As we age, it can be difficult to make new friends and maintain a close-knit group of peers. Living in a long-term care orretirement community is ideal for meeting new people who are at the same stage of life and enjoy the same types of activities.
- Variety of Social Activities: There are a number of social activities like art classes, baking classes, group excursions, and movie nights that are specifically programmed to encourage residents to build a strong community.
- Community Interaction: Friendly chats in the elevator, sitting with friends in the dining hall, and nights filled with music and dance are a few of the little things that make life in long-term care and retirement living communities an excellent social experience.
Tips for Transitioning into Adult-Style Living
Despite the many benefits we discussed above, moving into a long-term care or retirement community is a big transition and there are steps that can be taken to make it a smooth one.
- Plan Ahead!
- Early Preparation: Planning is key to making a transition into long-term care and retirement facilities a success. Ideally, you’ll want to start planning well ahead of your loved one’s transition. Planning ahead will preserve a sense of control for those transitioning into long-term care and retirement living and will help identify the right timing for the transition.
- Health and Physical Ability Assessment: Taking an inventory of any health conditions, considering their physical abilities, and anticipating future healthcare needs can help identify their best option for long-term care and retirement living.
- Financial Planning: It’s also important to understand the full financial picture in terms of what your transition will cost, what you can afford, and what your options are for long-term care insurance. It’s important for those making the transition and their caregivers to communicate openly about plans and discuss finances so that everyone is on the same page when it’s time to transition.
- Create a Sense of Familiarity
- Personal Belongings: During a transition, with so many sudden changes happening, it can be very helpful to create a sense of continuity by making sure residents are surrounded by pictures, furniture, keepsakes or art from their previous environment. It seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important not to forget about the power of our belongings in transitioning into a new space.
- Entertainment Access: In addition to décor, making sure a resident has access to their favorite TV programs, movies, and other electronic devices can ease the transition and help them feel at home.
- Open Lines of Communication
- Stay Connected: For residents transitioning into adult-style living, easy access to friends and loved ones through email, phone and social media is crucial.
- Regular Dialog with Staff: If you are a family member or caregiver that is assisting a resident with a transition into adult-style living, opening regular dialog with staff will ensure that everyone is on the same page in terms of making sure a resident’s needs are being met.
- Get Involved
- Social Integration: It’s important for those making the transition to join clubs, introduce themselves to neighbors, and get to know staff. Meeting people that have already gone through the transition or knowing who to go to when you need something will help them feel more comfortable in their new space.
- Establish New Relationships: If you are helping a resident transition, make sure you stay involved and encourage your resident to be active, make an effort to establish new relationships, and make sure they know you are always reachable.
Embracing the Change
Transitioning into adult-style living is a big change for those making the transition and for the families who support them. But, there are many benefits to living with others who are in the same stage of life, and the transition doesn’t have to be a difficult one. Have any questions about life in a long-term care or retirement community and how to prepare for a transition? We’re here to help. Contact us for more information about one of our residences.