Life is full of transitions! You have probably experienced a few during the course of your life; we all have. Transitioning into retirement living is just the next transition. But, it requires conversations with loved ones, advance planning, as well as an openness to change. Ultimately, the benefits of downsizing into the space you need, with the amenities, services and support you want, will be smoother if you think about a few things, before making a final decision.
Value Relationships over “Things”
You may be living in a home that you’ve lived in for some time, and have collected many memories (and items)! So it is quite understandable for you to be reluctant to move into a smaller home. However we know as Christians that it is not really “things” that make us happy, rather, it is relationships. Matthew 6:19-21 says “do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal…for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Moving to a retirement community allows you to maintain your family and friend relationships, and also build new ones. At the same time, it will relieve stress related to scheduling transportation to appointments, worrying about meal preparation and reducing household chores, as well as offer a range of activities and social connections. Prepare for many new friendships at HCH!
Look at the Options
There are so many different retirement living options available, from independent living to enhanced support options such as memory care within your apartment. If you’d like to better understand retirement living options, including long term care, just talk to us.
Plan Your Next Steps Well
It’s a good idea to not rush through a transition. While you examine the options, take time to write down your thoughts and plan your next steps. Here are some thoughts to prompt your planning:
- Take your time, and talk openly with friends and family members
- Make a list of the residences you are considering
- Ask friends, family or community contacts like doctors or a member of your clergy to suggest reputable retirement residences
- Visit a residence more than once
- Stay and have a meal; meet other residents and ask questions
- Attend an event or open house
- Write down questions and ask them all!
What Makes a Residence a Home?
Once you’ve made the decision, how do you transition from a place you’ve known and loved – sometimes for a long time – to a new place, a new living environment? Some people have simply said that a home is any place where you lay your head. For others, the answer is a bit more complicated. Here at HCH, we believe your apartment becomes home as you become used to living there. You develop new routines and modify old habits to fit a new environment. You decorate and furnish with familiar belongings and slowly it begins to feel “right”. As you settle in, you become part of a community. You make new friends, meet your neighbours, and join in new activities.
Being part of a new community also involves understanding how things are done and that there is always a give-and-take dynamic, a community of co-operation. The health of a community depends on everyone accepting their responsibilities as residents live and work together.
“Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4
Is it Time for a Fresh Start?
We know that many older adults who join us at Holland Christian Homes don’t want to lead an idle retirement lifestyle – in fact, they want to build new relationships and feel fulfilled. According to a survey by TD, the top three retirement goals for Canadians are:
- Working at something they love
- Actively volunteering in their community
- Life-long learning – building new skills and sharpening old ones. We value that at HCH.
We Are Here to Help
Transitions aren’t always easy. Our friendly staff are available to you, to answer questions and help you with the various steps. Even though it may feel daunting, you are not alone!