When is the “Right” Time for Senior Living?

Jan 18, 2022 | Life At Sunset, Senior Living

Whether you’re approaching retirement or have an aging parent who may soon need care, you’ve likely thought about the future at least once or twice. You may have questions such as:

  • What will I do with my time?
  • Will I live at home or move into a senior community?
  • What options can I financially afford?

We believe everyone should plan ahead and examine their options for later in life so you aren’t left wondering what will happen next, where you or your loved one will live, or if you will have access to the care you need.

Why Might I Want to Move?

When picturing senior communities, oftentimes people will imagine a traditional nursing home (see our previous blog “Five Common Senior Living Myths” to see why that isn’t true). The average age of senior living residents is 84, and most residents move between ages 75 and 84. However, it’s important to note that age isn’t the only factor to consider. Many senior living residents make the move because of a health crisis, but this is not always the case. Other situations that could prompt a move include:

  • Inability to keep up with home maintenance
  • Difficulty managing medications
  • Needing more help with daily chores
  • Trouble going grocery shopping or preparing meals
  • Difficulty walking with an increased risk of falling
  • Feeling isolated or lonely

Any of these situations can be frustrating, but becoming part of a senior living community like Sunset can help you navigate these concerns, providing comfort and assistance where you need it most. As time progresses, you may find new, additional concerns arise, something that our Sunset Life Plan will help to address. Our approach is a full continuum of care, with individual plans that adapt to our residents’ unique needs. This ranges from maintenance-free Independent Living to Assisted Living, and Memory Care Services.

Many residents are moving into senior living while they are still able to live independently. Without the burden of home maintenance, they have more time to enjoy their retirement and spend time with their families. Our Independent Living residents have the freedom to come and go as they’d like, enjoying a variety of social activities, unique dining options, and convenient amenities. They also have time to settle into their new community, allowing them to meet neighbors and make friends before they have to worry about necessary changes in care.

When Should I Start Planning?

Although it may seem many years away, there are several reasons to begin researching senior living options sooner rather than later. Two important things you should remember:

1. It takes time to make the move, especially if you have to sell your current home first.

For most people, moving is no simple task. It’s difficult enough to sort, pack, and move an entire house when we’re feeling at our best, never mind while adjusting to a major life change. Who wants to experience the hassle of moving while juggling family, health concerns, and other life commitments? By planning ahead, you can eliminate any additional stress, making for a smoother transition.

2. Some senior communities have waiting lists, and you may not be able to get in right away.

We all want a place to call home. If your vision of home includes a senior living community, you’ll want to take the time to visit the facilities and talk to on-site staff to get a better overall picture. Waiting to research until a move is necessary may mean you have fewer options, making your choice more about what’s immediately available rather than what aligns most with your needs and desired lifestyle. We suggest beginning the search early so that you’re comfortable in the knowledge that you’ve made the right decision when the time comes.

Where Should I Start?

Based on these considerations, how do you determine the “right” time for senior living?

Truthfully, no “right” or “wrong” time applies to everyone. Different people have different factors to consider, and some will face more challenges than others. We recommend researching your options ahead of time and developing a plan in case of a health crisis to avoid being caught off guard.

A great first step would be to download our Senior Living Guide: Navigating the Financial Aspects of Senior Living for more information regarding the various levels of care Sunset offers, the unique benefits of a Life Plan Community, and the payment options available to you. We’re here to assist you and your loved ones in the next chapter of your lives, so please contact us with any questions.