3 months ago
Preparing financially is one of the most important parts of moving to a senior retirement community. Before you go and tour a new residence, you need to make sure you have reviewed your financial situation. Asking for help and assistance from your family members and/or Accountant is always a good idea when budgeting your finances.
1.Organize your finances
Organization is the key to success. Having a system to track your finances and budget is necessary. This way you can track how much you spend on a weekly or monthly basis and how much you can save.
Having organization planning apps such as “You Need A Budget” can be a great tool and a great resource to monitor all your expenses. However, being tech savvy can sometimes be a challenge. One of the easiest technology investments is a simple spreadsheet in excel. It is the easiest way to track your budget.
For those who prefer the old school method of using a pen and paper, investing in a good financial planner or organization diarie is a great idea. These planners and diaries have different columns that can be filled and used whenever needed.
2. Budget closely and track expenses
The most important foundation is to budget closely and make a note of everything money is being spent on even if it’s an unexpected expense. The key is to be realistic with your budget and plan it carefully.
Before the month starts, make a budget plan and write all the essentials that are needed by you and how much is spent on them. And then write any extra expenses that you may incur in the entire month. Once you have made a budget, now limit your expenses to see how much you can save in a month.
Monitoring your budget before moving into a retirement home is essential as a failure to do so can lead to unexpected expenses exceeding your set budget.
3. Rate changes
Always plan for rate changes. Always make sure to make a note of the rate changes that may happen over time. If you buy a toothbrush regularly for $7.99 and once found it on sale for $6.99, write that down in your savings and make a note of the rate changes that can happen with this product.
Make a list of items that can be expensive in the near future such as medical care and medications. Another important thing to look at is how the cost of assistance can change over time. It is hard to predict but with time more assistance may be needed to carry out tasks and therefore an increased amount may be needed.
4. Examine your previous expenses
While you are budgeting your expenses it may be possible that you have only recorded costs for this month. However the process of planning your finances is not this easy, it needs to be done over time. Make sure to start budgeting and listing down expenses 6 months prior to your moving plans. This way you can examine all your previous expenses along with your current ones to put together an accurate budget. Also, while budgeting for 6 months you will be able to notice patterns that you may have otherwise missed.
5. Emergency funds
Having emergency funds is one of the most important needs when budgeting your finances. You need to see how much you have in your savings, how much you receive from your pensions or any other government benefits and if any of your family members would assist you in the event of an emergency. Planning this is essential, because although your budgeting may be enough for your monthly expenses it may not be enough for an emergency, which makes having a plan largely beneficial.
6. Set goals for the future
It is always essential to set goals for the future when you make the decision to move to a senior living residence. It is good to compile a list of expenses that you would be needing money for. However, the fees paid to a retirement home usually covers nursing, meal plans, medical care assistance, housekeeping and laundry.
3 months ago
After a certain age you might be thinking of moving in with your children because you might be feeling lonely and isolated at home and living with your children may sound like the best plan. Thinking of independent living may mean living alone for you which is wrong.
However, living dependently is different and much better than you can think. In today’s blog by Wiarton Retirement Residence, we have listed five reasons as to why independent living does not mean living alone.
1. You can meet the same kind of people
At an independent living home you get to meet new people at all times and most of them have the same problems as you have. The reason that they might have moved to independent living may be the same as yours. They might be feeling lonely too or would not have been able to take care of themselves.
Their health issues would be the same as yours such as forgetting the laundry in the machine or not remembering to lock the doors.
When at an independent living home, you can have more people around that you can relate to. You would have more things in common with the people at independent senior living, therefore having more to talk about. Also, in an independent senior living home you have easy access to assistance that you would not have at home on your own.
2. Group activities
At an independent living home various group activities are carried out throughout the week. Board games are everyone’s best friend and the best way to beat boredom. Moreover, many activities are hosted by the community such as ice-cream parlour days, carnivals, themed dinners and all special holidays are celebrated.
We at Wiarton Retirement Residence know that you might feel lonely which is why we host dinners, carnivals and birthdays at all times to make sure no one is bored and that you always have something to look forward to.
3. You have your space and freedom
There might be days when you just want your space. At an independent senior living home you have the advantage of having your freedom and space whenever you want. You can sit in your own room and enjoy your favorite book, watch a movie by yourself or video chat with your family.
4. Freedom to socialize
Being in your home alone can be depressing and/or isolating. While living with your children can cause you to feel like a burden on them. However, when you live in an independent living community you have the freedom to socialize with everyone and have someone to talk to all the time. You have many opportunities to interact with individuals, whether staff or fellow residents.
At Wiarton Retirement Residence we keep a tight knit community. Therefore, making friendly and strong relationships easier. In such a community you do not feel isolated or lonely but instead feel joy and inclusion.
5. Safe during COVID-19
Many families have been scared and have one question in mind; is an independent living community safe for our elders? The answer is yes. All independent living homes such as Wiarton Retirement Residence are equipped with all safety measures. At WRR we have socially distant tables to ensure your safety. Only single occupancy rooms are available so that if anyone is to feel sick they can self-isolate safely and still be provided with all the support and care that they need.
All our staff are screened before they come to work and are required to wear a medical mask at all times. We believe your safety is the most important thing.
3 months ago
Moving into senior living is a major decision. It requires a great deal of planning and preparation. Before you step into a different chapter, you may have a lot of unanswered questions in mind but here are some answers that will guide your thoughts before moving into retirement living.
Here are the top questions that you might have before moving in.
1. Is there a right age to move in?
The choice to move into a senior living community is personal, with different factors affecting each decision. If you’re considering a move to a retirement community, we recommend planning ahead and taking the time to think about where you want to live. Although transitioning to a retirement community is an individual experience, the average age in a senior living community is 84. Many senior living communities have residents much younger than that; however, most seniors choose to move in between 75 and 84.
Here at Wiarton Retirement Residence admits residents from all ages, be it 50 or 70 because we know every individual has different demands and a different requirement. If you are a younger senior who needs a senior living option, your lifestyle can be suitable for an independent living such as the living style with us
2. Will fitness be a problem?
This is an important question to ask when deciding your move to a senior living. Often many senior living communities offer various ways to keep you active and on track with your health. Some may have fitness rooms, a few communities may have pools and some may just encourage a natural way to keep yourself active at all times such as going for a walk. We encourage our residents to walk around the beautiful downtown that is just a few minutes away and explore as much as they can. Walking around can keep them healthier. Moreover, senior living communities hold fitness classes for seniors to ensure their health and wellbeing. Fitness is never a problem when living in a senior living community. Health is always the number one priority for us.
3. Do I need extra help with essentials such as bathing?
Knowing your needs is very important and thus, knowing that you may need extra help is a great way to narrow down your choices for your senior living community. You may need help with essentials such as bathing, dressing, toilet needs and much more which is why independent living communities offer a wide range of packages for such extra essentials. For example, we offer options to live at the lower level if you can not climb stairs, and special care can be provided when needed such as a nurse at all times at an extra cost.
4. Would socializing be a problem?
We understand that you may be feeling lonely which is why you want to make this new transition in your life. However, when living in a senior living community, socializing is never an obstacle in an independent living community. We all understand that you need to meet new people that you can relate to and thus, it is essential for us to make sure that all our residents are happy which is why activities are organized on a regular basis. With activities happening frequently, it becomes easier for individuals to talk to each other and find out about each other’s interests. There is always an opportunity to learn more during these activities.
5. What location should I choose?
All our residents chose our residence because of its beautiful location and affordability. Another question that rises from location is if you will have to move to another location in the community if your needs change. The answer depends on the senior living you choose. Our Residence remains a safe place that is always equipped with all the necessary equipment to handle any emergency and all your health needs so that you can live in your comfort.
6. Will I be provided with meals?
Many seniors believe that moving into a senior living will help with their daily chores, especially meal planning. It is hard to make sure that you are eating the right thing to ensure your health. Moreover, many seniors while calculating costs believe that an independent living can be very costly. However, independent living includes many amenities such as meals. All meals are provided to our seniors according to their dietary restrictions and to make sure they are healthy at all times so say goodbye to the long hours spent in front of the stove preparing a meal. Our dining rooms are socially distant and provide healthy meals that are also delicious. Moreover, with the three meals a day, three snacks are provided to the seniors as well with 24 hour access to tea and coffee.
7.Will I have my privacy?
All doors are secured at night. There is professional staff in the residence 24 hours a day and they are available to check in on you to ensure your security. As soon as you need them, they are only a phone call away. To protect your privacy and ensure security, we at Wiarton Retirement Residence do not give out your suite or phone number.
8.What utilities are included in the cost?
Every residence works differently. However, most of the residences including us at Wiarton Retirement Residence provide the following:
- Housekeeping and maintenance
- Fitness activities
- Group activities
- Utilities and home costs
- Full time staff dedicated to medical care
- Game nights
- Field trips
- Special diet considerations.
If you wish to add any service most of the residences just let our staff know.
3 months ago
Downsizing requires special attention and work. This is a special task for seniors. Having a check-list is a necessity while downsizing before moving into your new home at a senior living. For this emotional task, we have compiled important tips for downsizing when moving to senior living.
1. Start early
The process of compiling things and downsizing is overwhelming and may take more time than usual. This is why it is essential to start this process earlier than later so that you can give yourself time when you feel swamped by all the emotions.
Starting early can give you more time to process the emotions and can help you make better decisions on how the downsizing should work. It will give you a chance to spend time with every item in the household such as old photos, clothes that bring memories or your living space where you have spent all your time.
2. Make a plan
In advance, see what days you will have more time, and make those days available for the productive and busier tasks such as emptying the kitchen. Plan in advance of your moving date and create deadlines for yourself so that you can keep track of your time.
Make a list of the items that will be needed and the items that will not. Make a list of the things that can be donated or that someone might want. Make a list of the items that you want to take along and make a mind-map as to where you will place them in your new room.
3. Start with non-emotional belongings
Starting with emotional belongings can be hard. It can bring back memories which can make the process of downsizing hard and tough. It is easier if you start with items that do not have emotional value to it.
First determine if you need it or not, typically most non-emotional items are not needed and can be donated or given away.
4. Visit the new home frequently
Planning for your new space is essential so make sure you plan a few visits prior to your move in date. Get dimensions of your new space and see what items will fit where. You do not want to make the mistake of taking items that will not fit. Ask the new senior living community what items you can bring along.
Going to your new home will help you visualize where you want to put your items and how they will look. Moreover, it will give you a sense of belongingness to the new place.
5. Make ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ piles only
Avoid making ‘maybe’ piles. This will only prolong your process and create a hindrance. Make clear piles and put things into these piles. Make donate, give away and ‘No’ piles everyday. It is easier to let go of things slowly than suddenly all at once.
Once you have visited the new home a few times, you will know what items to definitely get rid of such as your cooking utensils. It will definitely be hard to let go of these items but, if you complete the downsizing on your deadline, it will be easier to work through.
6. What is the purpose of every item?
This question should be asked before putting any item in the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ pile. You should know what the purpose was and if you will have that purpose in your senior living community or not.
For example the purpose of cooking utensils is to make food, however, you will not be cooking once you have moved in. Thus, there is no need for these items so they can go in the ‘No’ pile.
Another way to ask the same question is to ask “does this item bring me joy?”. This question should be asked for the items in the ‘Yes’ pile only to bring a sense of clarity to what item will or will not be needed.
7. Maintain positivity
Moving into a new house can quickly become overburden sometimes. Maintaining a positive attitude is important and crucial to the process. Asking a loved one’s help and talking to them regularly can help you remain positive through the process. You need to focus on the new home and how it will bring you joy and new friendships. Think about what will be vital to you in the next 5 years. This makes the process easier because you need peace of mind and comfort in the next 5 years, which will come from moving into a senior living community.
8. Stick to deadlines
Lastly, stick to deadlines. This is why starting early is important. Whatever is laid out in the planning, stick to it and work through it. Delaying the process will only create a difficult road ahead for you.
3 months ago
When you were young, your parents may have had “the talk” with you. Well, there is a different “talk” to be had when your parents or other aging loved ones appear to need more help with daily living. And this talk can be just as awkward and difficult – maybe more so. No one likes admitting that they can’t do the simple tasks, like laundry or driving or shopping, that they have been doing their entire life. And most never want to leave the home they have lived in and raised a family in. Those thoughts are more than difficult – in fact, they can be frightening.
Here are some tips to make the conversation a bit easier.
Talk to Siblings First
If you have brothers or sisters, be sure you all agree that it’s time to have the senior care discussion. Settle any disagreements before you talk to your loved one. If you can’t agree, SeniorLiving.org suggests you contact a social worker or elder care specialist to help you all resolve your issues. A united front is important to soothe your loved one’s objections.
Have the Talk Sooner, Rather Than Later
Don’t wait for a medical or other emergency to force you to address the issue. It’s much harder to make good decisions in a moment of crisis. Procrastination is not helpful because you never know when an aging loved one may need help. This also lets the elder be an active part of the discussion. “Take an ‘us’ point of view, we are in this together,” says Maria Hood, director of admissions at United Hebrew of New Rochelle, a continuing care campus in Westchester County, New York. “We are a family. You raised me, now it’s my turn to help you.”
If your loved one isn’t ready, don’t push it. Suggest that you revisit the topic on a regular basis – say, every six months – just to check in with them and see if their views have changed. “Approach your loved one with respect, and if the person is not ready, you have to back it off,” Hood says. “Chances are, this won’t be one conversation. It will be several over time. And that’s OK.”
Know the Various Senior Living Options
There are different senior living options, including an assisted living facility, nursing home and continuing care campus. Your loved one may need minimal assistance at first – maybe a part-time home health aide – but more daily help or even skilled medical care later in life. Be well-versed on what each option can and cannot offer, and which might be best for your loved one. Consider gathering brochures or other marketing materials to show examples in your area that might appeal to them.
Focus on the Positives
Highlight the positives of a potential move to senior living rather than focusing on any negatives. “Don’t make the conversation about their limitations,” Mastronardi says. “That will only remind someone they were once vital and energetic but now seeing limitations. Those are very difficult things to come to grips with. Make the conversation about possibilities and supportiveness.”
In other words, don’t stress what your loved one can’t do anymore: “Mom, you shouldn’t drive. Dad, you can’t climb a ladder anymore.” Instead, present senior living as something that makes their life better. No more shoveling snow. Meals available when you don’t feel like cooking. The security of on-site health care if and when you need it. If they object, be understanding. Remember, no one likes to admit their limitations “It’s important for people to retain autonomy. They have the right to say no,” Hood says.
Ask the Experts for Help
“When a family member calls me and says, ‘I don’t know anything,’ I say, ‘Of course you don’t. That’s OK. That’s what I’m here for,” Hood says. Call your local elder care facilities and ask for advice. Or turn to national organizations like AARP, the National Council on Aging, SeniorLiving.org, APlaceforMom.com or your loved one’s physicians. “This way, you are not doing it alone. You have experts supporting you through this process,” Hood says
2 years ago
Moving into an Independent Living Community comes with a lot of perks, but it’s also a big change and, as with any major life change, it can be accompanied by its share of stress and worries.
Knowing some of what to expect ahead of time can be very helpful with coping with a new situation, so let’s discuss a few things that you can expect while transitioning to an Independent Living Community.
Be prepared for the move – Moving can be a hassle at any stage of life and, if you’re moving from a larger house, you will likely need to do a lot of downsizing. This can be a lot of work, so it’s best to give yourself plenty of time for packing and organizing your things. Be sure to enlist other people’s help, as you need it. That way, you can avoid a stressful rush to get everything sorted out at the last minute.
Some negative emotions are normal – It’s perfectly natural to feel a little sad about leaving behind your old house and neighborhood. Know that it’s okay for you to feel this way and be sure to give yourself the time you need to process your emotions. Everyone adjusts to change differently, so don’t be hard on yourself if it takes you some time to emotionally transition.
Have some fun setting up your new living space – Even if you’re experiencing some mixed emotions about the move, setting up a new home can be quite exciting. Try to have fun with the experience by decorating your new place and making it your own. This can also help you to feel more comfortable in your new environment.
Expect to see a lot of new faces – Once the unpacking is done with, be sure to introduce yourself to some of your neighbors. Independent Living Communities offer plenty of opportunities for socializing: you can dine with other residents in the communal dining area, get to know them during social events or just strike up a conversation as you’re going about your day in the community. You never know who could become a new close friend, so try not to be shy and get out there and socialize!
Enjoy community events – One of the benefits of Independent Living Communities are that they offer a wide variety of activities, so take the opportunity to try out different things and maybe even pick up a new hobby. Ask around to see what the other residents’ favourite social events are and plan to participate in the activities that sound the most enjoyable to you. These are also a great way to get to know your neighbors and form new connections, so be sure to get involved.
Carry on with your normal activities – Independent living means you maintain your freedom and can continue to live your life much the same as you did before, only now with a lot of mundane worries taken off your plate. You won’t have to be concerned about things like home maintenance or meal preparation anymore, and can instead focus on fully enjoying your retirement.
Even knowing what to expect, and about all of the benefits of senior independent living, you might still have some reservations about the change. If you’re feeling anxious or upset, reach out to your friends and family members and talk through some of your concerns. There’s no reason to dwell on your feelings alone.
Moving to an Independent Living Community can be the start of an exciting new chapter in your life. Instead of looking backward and focusing on the past, look forward to all the new experiences, new friendships and increased time for leisure that you’ll get to enjoy.
2 years ago
Talking to your aging loved ones about their senior living options isn’t always an easy conversation to have. Your loved one might feel apprehensive about losing their freedoms, or they might have a great sense of attachment to their current home. They may even respond negatively to the suggestion that they require any kind of assistance at all. For these reasons, it might be tempting to avoid the conversation for as long as possible, but it’s important not to put it off. While it might be an uncomfortable topic, approaching the conversation in the right way could help your loved one get more out of their life and/or live more safely.
Here are a few tips to encourage the conversation.
- Get other people involved.
If you have other close relatives who could help with the conversation, it’s best to make this a team effort and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Depending on your situation, it might also be a good idea to ask a third party to be involved, such as a doctor or family friend.
Write down your observations and outline what your main points of concern are ahead of time. Are you worried that their home environment is no longer safe? Do they require assistance with certain tasks, like managing their medications? It also helps to do some research before sitting down to talk. Learning more about what options are available will help you get a better understanding of what might be the best fit for your loved one’s needs and allow you to convey that information with more confidence.
- Avoid information overload.
After all that research you did earlier, it might be tempting to share all of the statistics and information that you’ve learned. However, you don’t want the person you’re talking with to feel overwhelmed. Share the basic information upfront and make sure you are being clear and to the point.
This should be a true conversation, so don’t try to trivialize your loved one’s concerns or impose your will. Listen to their anxieties or objections and ask questions so that you can better understand where they’re coming from. The discussion is more likely to be productive if your loved one feels respected and listened to.
If your loved one starts getting defensive or disengages from the conversation, you might find yourself feeling frustrated. It’s important to try and put yourself in their shoes and to demonstrate empathy. The idea of loss of independence is very difficult for a lot of people to deal with, so try to be understanding.
Your loved one might need time to process things and to put their feelings into words. Try to give them the time they need, instead of rushing them. This might need to be a series of talks, so be prepared for coming to a decision to be process.
- Arrange a visit to a community.
One of the best ways to alleviate your loved one’s concerns is seeing what the living conditions in a retirement community are actually like. An in-person or virtual tour can help both you and your loved one get a better understanding of the lifestyle, culture and amenities that a community has to offer.
One final point to keep in mind is that it is their decision. Unless your loved one is no longer capable of making decisions for themselves, the ultimate say in the matter is theirs. There are a lot of things that you can do to help them reach an informed decision (providing information, booking a tour, etc.), but remember that, at the end of the day, it’s their call.
While these tips can help you to prepare for discussing their living arrangements with your loved one, it will likely still be an emotional conversation, for everyone involved. Keep in mind, however, that the biggest hurdle is often broaching the topic the first time, and the earlier you get that out of the way, the better. You don’t want to put this discussion off until you reach the point where your loved one requires immediate help. Talking about what they want early will allow for less pressure, on both you and your loved one, and will make it easier for you to find the living arrangement that’s best for them together.
2 years ago
Feelings of isolation are something that many of us have, unfortunately, had to deal with over the past year, and which many of us are still struggling with. We’ve been disconnected from our social circles. We haven’t been able to take part in the activities that used to bring us joy. We haven’t been experiencing those small conversations with people at work. All of these things take a toll. While these were all necessary sacrifices in order to keep people safe, they still left an impact, and some have felt it more than others.
One group that has been hit hard by the need for isolation protocols has been seniors, as they are a group that was already vulnerable to isolation and loneliness. Restrictions are starting to ease in some parts of the country, but isolation sadly remains a problem for many seniors. There are a lot of factors that contribute to this, such as shrinking social circles, loss of contact with colleagues, mobility issues or other health concerns. As things slowly start to return to normal, one thing we must try to remember is to not underestimate the damaging effects that isolation can have on a person’s mental health.
Our connections to other people (our friends and loved ones) are what helps make our lives feel rich and fulfilling. When we’re alone, it can quickly become hard to maintain a positive outlook. Isolation can easily lead to feelings of increased stress, anxiety, and depression. The lack of social support can also result in an increase in unhealthy habits, such as inactivity or excessive drinking. In some extreme cases, people might start to experience suicidal ideation. Loneliness is not something that should be ignored or trivialized – it’s a serious matter.
Isolation can be especially damaging to seniors, who can also experience cognitive decline, complications to existing health-conditions and other health risks. When there is no one around to notice that someone’s health is deteriorating, the worst outcomes become increasingly more likely. With an estimated one-third of seniors living alone, the effects of isolation on their health and well-being is becoming a topic of increasing concern.
So, what can we do to combat senior loneliness and isolation?
Being a part of a community can go a long way to help someone achieve that feeling of connectedness that is so important to maintaining good mental health. Humans are social beings and most of us crave a sense of belonging, of feeling valued and cared for. This is where living in a retirement community can provide a lot of benefits, particularly to someone who is living independently and doesn’t want to sacrifice their freedom, but still wants to foster meaningful relationships and be able to experience regular face-to-face interactions with others.
Retirement communities offer a wide number of opportunities for socializing and forming new friendships. There are group activities and classes, which can be a terrific way to meet new people, and communal dining areas, which are wonderful places for a casual chat. Memorable occasions, such as birthdays and anniversaries, are celebrated, ensuring that residents always have someone to share their special occasions with.
Having neighbors in the same age-range can be a huge benefit when it comes to forming new connections. Being surrounded by people who are at a similar place in their lives, and who may be experiencing similar challenges, can make it easier to open-up and build new friendships.
Just knowing that there are other people around you, who you can turn to when you are going through a tough time, or when you need some assistance, can be a huge relief and source of comfort. Having that community of people who care, and who will notice if something is wrong, goes a long way in helping a person to feel secure and valued.
For a long time, loneliness seemed to be something that people accepted as a normal part of aging. If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it should be that this mindset is unacceptable. Mental health is just as important to one’s overall well-being as one’s physical health, and our need for socialization and community shouldn’t be ignored.
Independent living doesn’t need to mean living alone; find your community and ensure that you remain connected and happy, regardless of what stage of life you’re in!
2 years ago
Hear from our residential nurse speak about why you should consider retirement living when you are in good health.
2 years ago
Residential care homes offer a smaller, more home-like family setting for seniors. These care homes are typically located in traditional homes and neighborhoods and provide care for fewer residents than assisted living communities. Service offerings include food services and assistance with daily living, part-time medical professional care is offered. This live-in housing and care option is great for people who do not have skilled medical needs, such as a feeding tube or daily injections and a great option for individuals who are looking for a smaller-home-like setting.
There are seniors that enjoy the benefits of living in a home shared with other seniors. They have their own rooms, and occasionally bathrooms, but share common areas such as family room and dining room. The company of other seniors, especially when they have shared interests and experiences eliminates the typical feelings of loneliness and isolation experienced when living alone.
If you have ever watched an episode of the Golden Girls or seen the movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, you will understand the warm, loving, and supportive environment that residential assisted-living can offer. When you transition to this type of environment, it is a less traumatic event as you feel that you are just moving from one comforting home to another without the added stress of having to worry about meal planning, upkeeping and home maintenance and still can continue to live with the choices you had before.
Want to learn more about residential senior living? Call us today 519-534-5878 or Request your Information Package Today!
Image Credit: Golden Girls/Facebook