Senior Community Without Walls

More Choices Than You May Know

More Choices Than You May Know
Posted On 04/05/2017

This Q&A is based on a conversation in-person with a senior about her retirement choices. Read below.

I (Hope, Media & Marketing Manager) met a wonderful woman this morning at the local Bridge Tournament we are sponsoring, and am grateful to have engaged in conversation with her. She made points about retirement that many seniors don’t even realize yet, and wished they’d realize the choices they have. Fortunately, “spreading the word” is in my job description! Here’s what she and I discussed - we’ll call her Mary.
Mary approached me as I sat behind a table full of brochures and flyers, asking about Homecare By Design. She expressed that she has been invited by friends several times to a major retirement home in West Lafayette, and felt pressured by those friends to sell her home, give up her lifestyle, and move into this facility. Mary’s mother had lived in this particular retirement community for 15 years until her death, and she even had other friends and a sibling who have all lived there. While they felt content with their decision to retire in a facility, she couldn’t let go of the idea that a retirement community just wasn’t the choice she wanted to make.
“The hallways are so long, it’s like a maze. Two of my friends have to use scooters just to get around - it’s a 15 minute walk just to the dining room!”, she said. While a long walk seems like a small inconvenience, she had no interest in making that trip 2 or 3 times a day. “Once you move, you’re locked in. Yes, you can come and go as you please for the most part, but you’re stuck once you get sick. My mother spent her final months in the health center,” she shared. Mary is still quite active, drives herself wherever she needs to go, and is physically independent. She won’t need any extra help for a while, but she is still considering her options for when the day comes that she’ll need an extra hand at home.
“I’ve met a lot of seniors like you, who are pressured to move into a retirement home. They sell their houses and other assets so they can afford to lock in an apartment they like. Sooner or later, their health declines, and they get separated from their spouses or have no choice but to move into a different unit. Or, the staff-to-resident ratio decreases as more people move in, so they’re not usually getting help in a timely matter when they need it,” I explained.
“Homecare By Design started as just a homecare agency, providing one-on-one care in seniors’ homes. We began Home Maintenance services when we noticed that our seniors couldn’t always keep up with the yardwork or repairs in their homes. Then, we opened a Clubhouse once we realized that seniors retiring in their homes needed a more well-rounded life full of socialization, fun, and personal growth. We do Wellness Planning & Management to coordinate between any outside partners, like trust officers, therapy, hospice, anything like that. We just want to make it completely possible for any senior to retire in their homes, because for a long time, that wasn’t an option for most people. Now, it is,” I shared.
Mary smiled. “I’m glad to have met you. I want more than anything to stay home, and my kids are on board too. One day, when it’s time to make those decisions, I’ll give you a call.”
“Don’t wait until a crisis though,” I warned. “I’ve also met many seniors who had plans to stay home, but had an illness or injury that resulted in them being moved into a facility against their wishes. I’ve seen it time and time again, which is why we also offer a ‘backup plan’ program, so we can be on call in the event of a crisis.”
“That’s a good point. Maybe I’ll call sooner rather than later! I should be off to my tournament now, my partner is waiting,” she said. “Thank you.”
“Thank you and good luck!” I wished as she waved goodbye. You see, seniors have choices nowadays. You could move to a facility at any time, selling your home and bartering your independence. Or, you could try out a different homecare agency and likely end up frustrated that they can’t meet ALL of your needs, and end up moving to a facility anyways. Or, you could choose Homecare By Design, where you get the perks of both a retirement community AND a homecare agency, PLUS a plethora of added perks to make your retirement as successful as possible. The choice is yours, and you have many options to choose from!
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