I was on an all-inclusive vacation recently with my family. Because I'm a people watcher, I not only soaked in the sun but I also soaked in the environment and wrote this nifty little blog for you.
I've often described retirement living as being like a cruise ship on land. Many of today's seniors have been fortunate enough to enjoy vacations either on cruise ships or in all-inclusive resorts. These experiences can provide a rounded-out picture of what living in a retirement home could look like.
To expand on this idea, if you have the life experience of vacationing, here are some comparisons to making a move to retirement living.
- First and foremost, all-inclusiveness is a top seller for retirement living. Most homes include meal service, housekeeping, activities, and a variety of other choices for residents. These services are in place to help make your move to a retirement home less stressful and support you regardless of your stage of mobility or physical and mental health.
- Speaking of activities, recreational staff are an essential part of an all-inclusive vacation - and also in retirement living! For those of you who have been on all-inclusive vacations, you will know that the activity staff is often the lifeblood of the resort or cruise ship. They keep people engaged and can help identify different activity levels as well as alter activities to fit individuals. Activity staff play a very similar role in retirement residences.
- Accessibility may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you're looking at a vacation, but it is often top of mind when you look at retirement living. It's true that as people age they need their environments to adapt to, and with, them. At resorts, there are many accessibility options that allow individuals to enjoy the most of the vacation. Same with retirement living: many folks are coming from homes with stairs and other environmental difficulties. The goal of retirement residences is to simplify your life and maximize your enjoyment and participation.
- If you're not one to be involved in activities or outings, the other nice benefit of both the all-inclusive vacations and retirement living is that you can do as I do and people-watch. Some confuse people-watching with not wanting to be involved, but I would claim it's just a harmless personality trait. Many find enjoyment in hanging back with their own personal space and watching what's going on around them.
- Medical staff on site. With today's volatile healthcare system, it's nice to have trained professionals nearby, especially as we age. From basic nursing to more in-depth assistance, many retirement homes can help without having to send their residents to hospital.
- The choice is yours. From activities to meals to your time, retirement living offers you much more choice and variety than many of us are used to having in our day-to-day lives. You may say that we have the same choices in our own homes, but as we age we tend to minimize our social groups, food varieties, and physical well-being. In the end, this ends up giving us fewer choices as we age.
Have you ever considered retirement living? My first piece of advice for any senior that I've helped is to keep your mind open and your expectations flexible when looking into retirement homes. Remember it's not your own home so it will run differently. However, because it's not your own home and it runs differently, it means more new opportunities and life experiences, not less, as you age.