Old age is a stage of life that millions of people experience. It is a natural process. Those who reach retirement age often work for several years by performing part-time work or managing their own businesses. However, there comes a time when decisions have to be made when elderly people cannot take care of themselves any longer.
People, as young as 50, are sometimes placed in retirement homes that specialise in frail care because of strokes or other debilitating ailments that incapacitate them. When mobility aids no longer assist, choices, sometimes heartbreaking for a family, have to be made in the best interests of an infirm person.
The most important issue is being able to find a retirement home that suits the needs of the ‘patient’. This word is used loosely, as some elderly people opt to live in a retirement home although they don’t suffer from ill-health. Eventually though, old age catches up and frailty becomes a hindrance. Nevertheless, modern retirement homes can be a blessing for the elderly, especially if people are able to select a home long before they actually need to move. Moving to a retirement home that is professionally managed is equivalent to an upmarket hotel. It all depends on available funds and circumstances.
Seniors who have lived in their own homes for many years don’t have to feel daunted from the transition. Long before the move they should make enquiries at a few retirement homes in their neighbourhood. It is better if elderly people are able to select an environment that suits their needs and where they feel that they can be happy.
The next step is to sort out all their possessions. This can also be a difficult time. However, by performing this task long before the actual move can give the elderly a sense of being in control. This is also where family members can assist by advising on which items should be kept, donated or thrown away. This is the time when children should be perceptive of a parent’s feelings. Cherished possessions that have a place in one’s own home might not be acceptable in a retirement setting. Space for personal treasures is at a premium. Everything now has to be stored in one room. This is a good reason why living quarters should be viewed before moving.
As people age they will probably not be able to get around as well as they did just a few years earlier. Most retirement homes provide mobility products. Nevertheless one should query whether the cost of these products is included in the overall price or whether they are classed as extras. A wheelchair can be an expensive item so it is better to assess the cost before it is required.
Moving to a retirement home doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience. However, it will be less stressful if family give their support and visit their loved ones regularly. Eventually, it all depends on each individual. People should continue with their hobbies or find new interests; they will soon make new friends and form close relationships. Some elderly people even develop love interests with another resident and remarry. Someone once remarked, “Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many”.