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Chapter 7 - Helping your parent make the move to a retirement home

Mom knows what she wants - how does she  make the final call?

Your loved one has done their research and explored the many senior living options available. They’ve talked it through with you and come to the conclusion that the pros of moving to a new home outweigh the cons. Still, they’re having trouble making the call. You’re both wondering about what prompts other people to actually take the step. To boldly go. To make their move.

No doubt they’ve moved before. Maybe they pondered it for a long time, maybe it was a decision made for them due to a job change or other circumstances, or maybe they were out on a sunny day looking at open houses and something caught their eye that they felt would be a perfect fit for their family. Whatever their reasons for moving were in the past, this potential move may feel a bit different. It’s more personal. Notwithstanding the valuable input and opinions from you and others around them, this time it’s really up to them.

The decision to make the move is multi-faceted

There has to be a deciding factor, and it might be helpful to know what that was for other people just like your mom or dad. What ultimately prompted them to make the move. Understanding the motivations of others can help your parent understand and capture their own feelings about what it is they really want – and when and where they want it. It may help them through their own decision-making process, inspiring them to grab the reins and make it happen.

One size does not fit all
Like most things in life, people have different reasons for considering a move to a new residence. Here are eight of the top reasons we’ve heard from our retirement home residents:

I needed help managing my household tasks. Let’s face it. If your loved one has spent a lifetime doing their own housecleaning, the thought of someone else doing it for them so they can focus on other things sounds pretty great. And the yard work that they once perhaps enjoyed may feel like more of a chore these days. When moving into a retirement home, they can put household tasks behind them – unless, of course, it’s something they really love doing. They can discuss the services they need, as well as the tasks and activities they want to keep doing, when they make their move.

I was feeling a bit lonely and wanted to make new friends. Living in your own home can be fulfilling – but also lonely at times. Isolation, which has increased during the pandemic, can have detrimental effects on your loved one’s health and well-being. In a senior living environment, they’ll be surrounded by people who are about the same age, who have similar interests, and who are as eager as they are to enrich their lives with friendship.

I was looking for a stronger sense of community. A retirement home is much more than just a place to live. It becomes special because of the people who live and work there, and for its strong sense of community. It’s a place where everyone belongs – where your parent will have their independence and will be free to choose when and how they get involved. There is always lots to do, from recreation to special dining events to clubs and classes and much more.

I liked the thought of someone else doing the cooking. If this is high on their list, who could blame them? Revera retirement homes offer delicious, healthful, chef-inspired meals in a variety of welcoming settings, such as pubs, bistros, cafés and dining rooms. There are lots of dining choices, without having to clean a dirty dish afterwards. And if they still want to make their favourite recipe from time to time, many of our retirement residences have common kitchen areas, and some even offer demonstration kitchens, where they can learn from our talented chefs.

I felt I was at the stage I couldn’t live safely on my own anymore. Whether this is driven by health concerns or a lack of accessibility in the home, safety and well-being are deciding factors for many people. Remember, when your loved one chooses retirement living, they are choosing personalized services and care when and if they need it. Your parent is unique, and so are their health and wellness needs. That’s why we provide flexible support for the unique physical, mental and social needs they have today – and those they may have tomorrow.

The amenities sounded too good to pass up. Guess what? They really are. Depending on the retirement residence your parent or loved one chooses, they could be practising their game on a golf simulator, taking a swim in an indoor pool, creating a masterpiece in the art studio, watching a classic film in the theatre, playing fetch with their fluffy friend in the dog park, and the list goes on. There really is a wide variety of amenities – let them take a tour at the residences they are considering and find out what they offer.

I didn’t want to be a burden on my family. We get it. As people get older, they may have complicated feelings about what their age and any challenges they face mean for the ones they love. This may particularly hit home for your mom or dad if they have some needs that are being fulfilled by you or another family caregiver. Most Revera retirement residences offer care services, with some even offering specialized memory care. This decision is about your parent feeling more independent, and you both being confident that they are getting the support they need.

I was ready and excited to move on to this next phase of life. The future is bright indeed, for so many reasons! One is that Canadian seniors make extraordinary contributions to society. In fact, the Revera Report on Aging: Living a Life of Purpose found that seniors are leaders when it comes to committing to creating a better world, volunteering more time and money than any other age group. By embracing this next stage and making the move to a retirement residence, their lifestyle can support how they make a difference.

The decision to make the move to a senior living community is multi-faceted. Whatever the reason that clinches it for your loved one, once their decision is made, they’ll need to spend some time preparing for the move. Read on for tips to help them declutter and downsize for their new home.