Determining when you may want to consider moving to a senior living community is a very complicated decision process.  Many people wait for a crisis to occur before considering such a move; while others plan and move before something happens.

Planning requires that you look ‘realistically’ into the crystal ball.

Try to imagine your life in 5 to 10 years from now. Looking in the crystal ball, you need to think about a scenario when you may not drive anymore or if your health starts to change, how will you manage? Try to image what your life will be like a year if you or your spouse passes away or requires care. This may be difficult to for you to do, but it will help you develop your plan. It is important that you are realistic, so you thoroughly think through this process.

Who’s going to change the light bulbs?

We meet people who elect to “stick it out” in their own homes.  This then creates a tremendous burden on their family and friends.  There is a great deal of loneliness and isolation that occurs and a level of vulnerability of abuse from outsiders. Access to services is limited, plus simple chores like driving to the grocery store or picking up your prescription medication becomes a major challenge. Home maintenance and repairs become major issues and a source of exploitation from unscrupulous vendors.

It is always better to be 5 years to early than 5 minutes to late. 

Many senior living communities have medical acceptance criteria to be considered for residency.  This is a very important factor to consider. People who wait for a crisis to occur or have progressive medical conditions are frequently denied residency.

If you are a couple, you need to look after each other and protect one another in case one of you requires care.  More importantly, you need to make sure the healthy spouse has their future care plan is in place. Unfortunately, many people fail to consider this scenario and the healthy spouse ends up in a dire situation (medically, socially and financially) after the non-healthy spouses passes away.

Senior living communities are not nursing homes.

At the root of the timing question is the misconception that senior living communities are nursing homes and by moving to a retirement community, you will be losing your independence.  Senior living communities offer a wide spectrum of services and amenities, including dining, social activities, fitness & wellness programs so residents can keep active and healthy longer.

To learn about the advantages of  senior living community,  read more… Weighing the Advantages of a Senior Living Community

Am I’m ready to consider a move to a retirement community?

Many (if not all) of the folks that I have helped move to a senior community all told me prior to their move that they are not ready. It is a mantra that I hear in my sleep.  “I love where we live, and I don’t see any need to do anything right now.”  “We’re just not ready.”

If you speak with these folks today, 99.9% of them will tell you that it was the best decision they ever made, they only wished they would have made it sooner. So, here are intelligent and successful people all saying the same thing… we wish we would have done it sooner.”

When it the right time?

There are different time frames to consider.  When do you want to start your research, when do you see yourself narrowing down your choices and when do you want to move? By doing your research early, you may find that the community you are considering has a waiting list or is planning to expand or is under construction.

If you have a long-term plan to move, try to figure out what needs to occur between now and this date in the future to make you ready.

Select, don’t settle.

By selecting a senior living community before your health changes, you can choose the place that fits your needs and lifestyle the best. The longer you wait, the less selection you will have. If you are considering a new community, you can pick your desired location and floorplan, get medically accepted and have time to sell your home.

Let the experts help you.

As senior housing advisors, we can simplify and streamline the process. We help you narrow your choices. We are familiar with all the options in the area and know about future projects as well. We share demographics and overall lifestyles of all the places you are considering making sure it is the right fit for you. We know pricing, availability, financially stability and overall reputation. We help you ever step of the way.

Bottom line… don’t wait for something to occur.  Plan for your tomorrows today!

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