The Savvy Senior: Make the Move to Independent Living While You’re Still Independent
November 2021 Issue
By Pauline Giron and Melissa Hallbeck
The grass needs cutting, the baseboards are covered in dust, you are just back from the grocery store and what in the world are you going to cook for dinner?
These chores are just a part of daily living. However, they were much easier when we were younger and had more energy, especially when the children were still home to help. Now these same chores can be daunting, worrisome and tiring.
Finding the right life balance as we age is difficult. Seniors want to cut down on the daily to-do list that comes with staying in their big family home, but no-one wants to admit it’s become too much. Adult children want to visit once or twice a year to where they feel most familiar—what they have always considered home. But what about Mom and Dad, and the rest of the year, when FaceTime takes over as the means for family visits? Is it worth staying in that big home when you could be minimizing your daily duties and maximizing your daily joy?
Now more than ever, many senior adults are opting for independent living over the myriad duties and worries that come with their big home. Just 20 years ago, there weren’t many options for seniors wanting to downsize their homes and upsize their daily enjoyment. Retirement homes were seen as the last place anyone truly wanted to go. Usually, one only went when he or she was too frail to take care of things at home or live alone. All of this has changed.
Now, independent living means making the choice for your golden years to be some of your best years! Many retirement communities are more like luxurious retirement resorts. Take The Bayshore on Hilton Head Island for example: Residents have stunning front row views of the Lowcountry’s changing tides and gorgeous sunsets. Situated along the Intracoastal Waterway with a community boat and dock slips, Bayshore residents enjoy an array of activities, including sunset boat cruises, an outdoor heated pool, a resident garden, an outdoor waterside swing, trellis and fire pit, and an outdoor bocce ball court. But the real beauty of all of this, is whether you live alone or as a couple, others are always around to enjoy these amenities with.
In addition to chef-prepared meals being served three times daily, one of the most comforting amenities at many independent living communities is a step-up to assisted living without ever leaving your apartment. For instance, at The Bayshore, should a resident’s health change to where he or she may need assisted care, either short or long term, they can stay right in their own apartment and have staff help with the daily activities of living, such as medication management, bathing, dressing and more. The peace-of-mind provided by knowing there is a trained staff to help when needed is priceless, both to the resident and their loved ones.
It is a fact that most seniors do not consider moving to a retirement resort until it is too late to enjoy themselves. Instead, they struggle with those household burdens, where even changing a light bulb can be difficult when it is no longer safe to climb a step stool. In addition, many seniors suffer from loneliness and may find themselves feeling sad or depressed. Transportation also becomes an issue as people age, and regular destinations like shopping centers, doctors offices and church become worrisome or impossible. Most independent living communities provide transportation to all these places and more. Looking into moving to an independent living community sooner than later may be the answer to getting more out of life by lightening the worries that come with aging.
What if you woke up waterfront each day and only had to think about if you would like to swim in the morning or afternoon? Oops. It better be the afternoon because the ladies’ card group meets in the morning. Plus, you have plans to take photos of the sunset right after dinner so you can send them to your grandchildren. Life is better for the entire family when everyone knows grandma and grandpa feel relieved, safe and happy. The only question left to answer is: What are you waiting for?