Perhaps actress Cameron Diaz said it best: “Growing old is a privilege. Not everyone gets to do it.” On the road to a silver-haired crown, many of us — or our loved ones — will need help. The good news is that there are plenty of nearby neighborhood resources to help ease into that transition. Here are a few tips from neighborhood senior resources to consider if you’re evaluating options for a senior you love.
Tackle transportation. Everyone’s on the go, but for seniors getting around can be tricky. Surrendering car keys is difficult, especially for seniors living without easy access to resources such as doctors or groceries. “Transportation accessibility is vital because it decreases isolation and increases the physical connections for new opportunities,” says Jonathon Braddick, community development manager representing AARP Ride@50+ program. Seniors and their families want to look for a safe and reputable alternative ride services resource for affordable local transportation, Braddick says.
Keep consistent. Familiar routines are key to mental and physical acuity, says Allison Rubin, executive director of Meadowstone Place. “If possible, relocate to a senior community near home, where geography doesn’t disrupt social circles, established doctors, Bible studies and church activities — to integrate current lifestyle with the new environment.” Understand your needs: a la carte or all-inclusive? Check out different levels of care, just in case. “There is no one-size-fits-all. Check out the property’s vibe, the community feeling and then decide.”
Reframe the outlook. When considering a move to a senior living community, “potential residents often think in terms of loss,” says Jennifer Griffin, VP of engagement with CC Young Senior Living. “Really, the focus should be on the gains – with a new community, new friends, new experiences, new hobbies — and so much more,” Griffin says. “With all the positive benefits gained, we often hear new residents wonder ‘why did I wait so long?’”
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