It is not all or nothing – remember that – how you live and where you live has some flexibility. We can find some flexibility in all situations. You simply look at what is presented to you in context of your needs. Allow yourself to think about how you might tweak it to work for you.
Get creative and engaged in Finding Your Future and putting a Road Map in place while the winds of time are still in your favour. Plan in advance and change in advance. Several smart changes lead to a life well-lived, and a comfortable as possible right to the end. I don’t know about you, but that much control has appeal!
There is a real spectrum of where and how we live. If we focus on the period in our life where age and maybe physical or cognitive constraints are a factor, we have roughly 3 categories of potential situations:
Living independently without assistance from anyone for anything
1) a detached house or a townhouse
2) an apartment (rented or condominium ownership)
Living independently – with assistance
1) In-Home Care assistance
2) Younger family members assistance
Living with other people (but with your own space)
1) A younger family (usually relatives)
2) An In-Home Care assistant you’ve hired and they live in your home
3) A Retirement Residence – your apartment in a community building
4) A Retirement Residence – your own apartment but with supportive assistance hired
5) Assisted Living Residence – you need assistance with daily living (memory care is a specialty within this option)
6) Long Term Assisted Living – you require intensive support for complex medical needs
This should be an intergenerational conversation – more like many conversations. We know full well life can change in a blink. One minute you and your partner are doing great, and living independently. The next moment a stroke, a fall leading to broken bones that don’t seem to heal right, a death, or memory and mental acuity that just left through the back door. Without warning no less, how rude! Right?
The professionals, who observe many people and their families have guidelines that benefit us. Their intent for using guidelines is our well being and avoiding crisis. They subscribe to plan in advance and change in advance.
By age 70 we should be out of the big family home. If we have always lived there (or it has been 40 or 50 years) then this is a tough move. Imagine though letting it past age 70 – when you are really no longer capable of controlling the situation. In our 80″s we should switch to living with other people. In this category, it’s crucial to find the right fit for you. For example, buying a condominium with or without in-home assistance may not be the best choice. It is not a wise choice for someone with memory or physical challenges that will require a change again soon.
Always keep in mind, there are consequences for our actions. Procrastination or denial rarely has a good outcome. Be the smart one. The brave one. Start the conversations now and have them often. Draw your Road Map and do your research. Change Your Nest, Enable Your Life.
Stay tuned for upcoming articles comparing the differences between In-Home Care and Retirement Residence living. If you need to consult with an expert in assessing and planning our future living style, we have that for you within my program Migrate Home. In this program, when we talk about relocation we consider the whole person and any age group. The network of professionals I’ve specifically organized to support the aging demographic is nothing short of amazing. Consulting and advisory services are our specialties and we are happy to be a part of your planning and your journey.