Chapter 9: Retirement and Independent Living Communities

Text Size:

Helpful Resources

Find more resources at the end of many chapters in the book.

Until now we have talked about the care of seniors as they remain in their traditional communities, generally in their own homes, but in some cases in the home of the family caregiver.

Now we have arrived at a turning point. For the next several chapters, we will to talk about seniors who have moved away from their traditional homes.

Looking into the Future

When seniors do leave their homes, they go for a variety of reasons. In many cases, their traditional homes have simply become too big for them to care for, contain too many rooms to clean and heat, and look out over too much lawn to cut and too much driveway to shovel.

Some seniors who move away also take a long look toward the horizon of their remaining years. For now they are healthy, in their mid-sixties, say, but they can imagine the day when they will need a lot of support, including perhaps residence in a nursing home. They want to get in on the ground floor of an independent living community that provides a continuum for the rest of their lives: a complex of facilities that begins with homes suitable for seniors who are fully capable of taking care of themselves. Nearby is a cluster of apartments designed and equipped for those who need some daily assistance, and finally, there is a nursing home for those who need professional caregivers in constant attendance.

Prepare for the Unexpected

You can also help your parents by providing a checklist of questions they should investigate thoroughly before making commitments to a particular community. Pulling up roots is financially expensive, physically exhausting, and emotionally torturous. The experience is punishing enough for a forty-year-old, but for a sixty-five-year-old much harder.

Review additional chapters of Stages of Senior Care:

Previous: Chapter 8: Medical Care at Home  
Next: Chapter 10: Assisted Living