I will be turning 62 this year, and never gave it a second thought about “not” living in my own home. Of course, there are many people out there who are also my age and feel the same way. We “don’t” think about the next phase of our life. Yes, we are seniors, baby-boomers, and aging, but many of us don’t feel that old yet, and although we’re still thinking about retirement and what we’ll do, many of us don’t think about planning for assisted living and beyond.
I have discussed retirement and what I’ll do if I’m lucky enough, but honestly, I’m not so sure I’ll be able to retire when the time comes. The thought of retiring just doesn’t seem that important yet, and planning is a whole other story. I am the typical middle-class Mom, work, keep a home, and all that goes with the financial responsibilities has been more important and saving for retirement is a whole other story too.
This past summer is when it really hit me. A friend’s mother 84, decided to relocate here to Las Vegas. She stayed with me for a month while I helped my friend find her an assisted living community. My friend thought that his Mother needed some help with cooking, bathing, and housekeeping, so assisted living was the first choice. My friend had previously looked at several of them before deciding on “the one” or so he thought!
While doing the tour, I was amazed though at the landscaping, open setting, large living room, event room, parlor with a fish tank, and an area to dance. Wow! It is more like a hotel rather than an assisted living community. What impressed me the most was the comradery among the residents and staff. Of course, you can’t always judge a book by its cover, and it was just a tour, so they stopped by several times unannounced after that to check it out.
It’s been a few months now since she moved in, and although a bit getting used to with scheduled meal times and activities throughout the day, everything seems to be going ok, but she says she is too independent and doesn’t plan on staying there after the Winter. From what I do know is that “if you don’t ask, you can’t expect it” and I can understand that. There are lots of rules though. Assisted living and independent living are two totally different ways of living, and both to take into consideration as we age if we need any help at all.
I think the hardest thing about moving into an assisted living community is the age thing. Although the age range is from 45 to 98 at this particular place, I see many folks who are mainly in their eighties. I think of how I may need to have assistance at that age, and I still find it hard to comprehend. Am I just denying the fact that in less than twenty years I may need to live in a similar community? I know it’s a difficult subject to comprehend when you’re just 62.
There are hundreds of websites for seniors, financial planners, and of course, a variety of retirement communities all over the U.S. One, in particular, caught my eye recently, “Holiday” with independent senior living communities all across the U.S., (these basically handle cooking, cleaning and activities) and from what I understand, you can move around within their communities all over the U.S. Something to think about if you’re needing a little assistance!