Residential Retirement Living Takes Serious Study and Planning
Many couples make plans for retirement living, but all too often the plans are continually pushed ahead for years. This pattern is very common for individuals who are 65 or even 95 years old.
The reason for this pattern is explained within the remarks from many of these couples. Most believe that they are too young and healthy to be planning so far ahead. Others feel that they are not ready to live with other elderly individuals. Also a concern are the possibilities of parting with their belongings in order to reside in smaller quarters, the associated cost, privacy issues or if they would be able to rely on their children for help when their health eventually begins to fade.
Perhaps too many people find themselves feeling like they’re drifting along on a tranquil river of life. At some point, everyone will encounter white water rapids or even a waterfall. No matter how much the fact is denied, it is true that nothing stays the same.
Susan and Greg realized that after age 70 it was time to look into some alternative living arrangements that would address the what-ifs of life.
Susan and Greg responded to those who would have dissuaded them from joining the residential retirement community in a number of ways.
When others remark how young and healthy that the couple are, they simply respond, “Yes, that’s true and we are very grateful for that. But, you know, we might not stay healthy forever. We find it very comforting that our continuing care community allows us to migrate from our current independent living status into assisted living, skilled nursing and even a memory support accommodation if and when we should require that in the future.”
When asked how they felt about living with so many other elderly people they remarked, “We learned early on that our neighbors all had very interesting stories to tell and had led accomplished lives. Just about every new person we have met has enriched us with his or her wonderful life history. We’ve also learned that each of us ages at a much different rate. A person is not defined by a cane, walker or scooter. Many are very talented, intellectually stimulating and a lot of fun to be with.”
Many asked the couple about their belongings to which they replied, “We sold them or gave them away. We didn’t want the final years of our lives to be focused on material things. We want our lives to be defined by who we are.”
In concern of the associated cost of living, the couple said, “When we sold our house the equity was more than sufficient to cover the membership entry fee. A lot of things are included in our monthly charges, such as 15 dinners per month per person in our restaurants and various dining rooms, housekeeping service every week, a yearly deep cleaning and a lot more.”
Privacy is also a subject that is also brought up to the couple. “If you seek privacy it is very easy to find here. You are not bothered by anyone in your own living room. If you disdain the social interaction that occurs in the hallways, restaurants, the wellness center and other gathering places, that is your choice and no one will nag you about it. On the other hand, there are numerous opportunities every day to meet new people, swap life stories, enjoy one another’s company over a shared meal and glass of wine and just celebrate life.”
Lastly, many tell the couple that their kids will take care of them when they grow older. “They love you and want what is best for you. Do you wish to burden them with caring for you while, at the same time, they are probably raising their own families and are at the most productive time in their careers?”
Oklahoma Methodist Manor is located in Tulsa at 4134 East 31st Street. For more information, visit www.ommtulsa.org.