Just do it – make decisions in time to enjoy them
If you are contemplating a move to a Village or Care what information do you need, how do you make that decision and when?
Recently we decided to re-vamp our brochures and information that we give people when they are looking at moving to our Retirement Village. To help us we asked a group of residents to tell us about their experience. They talked a lot about the importance of not leaving decisions too late. They all said something like, “I should have done this years ago.” They admitted that contemplating a move was difficult, but the reality was much easier and once done they were very happy.
This is a sentiment I have also heard in our Care Community (Rest Home and Hospital). A while ago we had a gentleman move in who had a life-long illness. He had known for many years that moving into care was inevitable, however he kept putting it if off until one day an acute health episode forced his hand. After a few days in our care facility he said to us “What was I worried about? This is great!” At home he’d been lonely and his health was declining rapidly. Here there were always people to chat to, things to do, people to help him do them and with good care he was feeling better. He reflected that if he had not been so afraid of making the shift, he could have been enjoying a better quality of life much sooner.
Everything about Villages and Care facilities is structured to enable older people with health and disability issues to have a great quality of life. However it is still important to make the decision to move early enough to be able to take advantage of the new lifestyle. It is much easier to settle, make new friends and feel like you belong if you are able to participate. In terms of Village life, moving early enough to enjoy the” lock and leave” qualities of a Village means you get to use your energy for things you still enjoy doing in the community or within your wider family.
We do see many people leave these decisions too late. By the time they make the move, their health is so poor that it is difficult to create a new sense of home. Of course you can’t always plan a move into care – people’s health can decline very suddenly and unexpectedly. But sometimes you do have signs, or have been told by health professionals or family that you need to be thinking about care. And a move to a retirement village is definitely something that you can plan and make a personal choice about. As our residents say, thinking about the shift is harder than actually doing it.
So if you are thinking about a move into a Village, or have been told to think about care, here is what our current residents would say to you: “Just do it!”