The very thought of moving to a retirement residence can be really intimidating!
I know this because, for 12 years, I’ve helped families find retirement homes and ease the transition for countless families and seniors across Ottawa.
In my experience, seniors have two main concerns about moving into a retirement home: they will lose their independence, and/or they will have a terrible experience.
Here’s the thing though—a retirement residence can actually help seniors:
- reclaim their independence, and even
- improve their overall health and well-being.
In fact, I know many seniors who have flourished after moving to a retirement home!
Here are just a few…
The social butterfly
A few years ago, a gentleman’s family came to me for assistance. “Bob” was living by himself, wasn’t taking care of his home, and didn’t like to cook. Obviously, all of this affected his health and well-being.
(Bob’s story isn’t unique. In fact, Statistics Canada says more than one-third of seniors living at home are at risk of not getting adequate nutrition!)
At first, Bob wasn’t overly keen on moving to a retirement home. But fast-forward a couple of years, and what a transformation I’ve seen.
Now, every time I visit his residence, Bob is leading something—whether it’s a choir, bingo, hosting events or volunteering. Basically, he has become the best-known resident of the whole place. (And I always get a big hug from him!)
Plus, Bob doesn’t have to do the cooking anymore, which he absolutely loves. He gets his proper nutrition without having to do all the work.
Sisterly support network
One woman, Elizabeth, was about to be discharged from the hospital. Because of her health situation, she knew she could no longer live on her own.
As luck would have it, Elizabeth struck up a friendship in the hospital with a woman in the bed next to her. “Jane” was in a similar predicament: she had to give up her home and find a retirement residence.
Neither woman had the family to help them, and both were nervous to take this next step in life.
I took Elizabeth and Jane right from the hospital on a tour of an Ottawa retirement home. Wouldn’t you know it—they decided to move into the same place!
Today, they live under the same roof and have become the best of friends. As a result, they have become each other’s strongest supporter.
Peace of mind
After his wife passed away, “John” decided to downsize his home and move into a retirement residence. I helped him find a seniors’ home in Ottawa that would best meet his needs.
Today, John has peace of mind because the place he lives in is attached to a second retirement residence where they offer full care (a “care facility,” sometimes referred to as a “nursing home”). In the event he eventually needs more assistance for his health needs, he doesn’t have to move out of his familiar surroundings: just next door, meaning he can keep his same group of friends and the same staff he already knows. in fact, he can stay there for the rest of his life!
John has told me repeatedly that this was “the best movie ever”—and he enjoys the peace of mind he gets from knowing he doesn’t have to worry about moving again.
Don’t let fear keep you from flourishing!
I’ve met many seniors who are hesitant to leave their home. And that’s understandable: they don’t know what lies ahead for them.
But sometimes, it’s simply fear of the “unknown” that stands in the way of a really positive life change.
At Tea and Toast, we remove that fear by:
- taking time to get to know seniors’ care needs, location preferences, budget, social interests and concerns;
- recommending residences that meet those needs; and
- accompanying seniors and families on tours of those retirement homes—every step of the way.
And keep in mind: you don’t have to lose your independence either!
In fact, many people find they become more independent by moving to a retirement residence. They no longer have to rely on adult children to take them to appointments, social gatherings, or to do groceries. That’s because retirement residences offer a range of services built-in to support residents.
There are so many wonderful stories that come out of retirement homes: people who have had incredibly positive life changes.
Take it from them: moving to a retirement residence can not only be good for you…but provide you with a higher quality of life!
Do you know any Ottawa seniors who have thrived in a retirement residence? We’d love to hear their story! Comment in the section below. Or, if you’re looking for a home for a loved one, consider using our search services. You can contact a retirement living advisor today. We look forward to hearing from you!