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oving from our beloved home to a senior living community is one of the most challenging transitions we’ll face. Like any major change, we’ll come up with all sorts of reasons to stay put.
Whether you need to move for health reasons or because you’re no longer able to easily clean and maintain your home, senior living offers several benefits. You get a built-in network of friendly people and access to quality care. There’s also no shower to clean, no yard to mow, and no dishes to wash. You don’t even have to cook.
The reality is that retirement living can help seniors remain active and independent longer. Here, we clear up seven common misconceptions about senior living.
Forget the traditional nursing home image. As KHOU Great Day Houston host Deborah Duncan once said in a news feature, “It’s not a place where you go to die. It’s a place where you go to live again!”
Some senior living residents continue to work. Others start a new chapter. Treemont resident Felix Meyer learned to play the piano. Fred Jinkins learned to paint and has even sold a few of his paintings. Halina Koziel volunteers almost daily, either at Treemont or at Second Blessings, a nonprofit thrift shop.
Libby Davis, another Treemont resident, published the children’s book The Tale of Fredrica the Fox in December 2017. You’ll find other residents teaching painting, quilting or creative writing, or playing piano, dancing, and participating in numerous activities. Agnes Barnett is one of a number of Treemont residents that play bridge at least three days/week. Most evenings, after dinner, a group of ladies gather in the lobby to play rummy cube or mah-jongg or just to enjoy each other’s company.
When you compare your monthly expenses and caregiving costs to a senior living community’s monthly fee, you may come out ahead.
At a senior living community, you won’t pay property taxes or homeowner’s insurance. You won’t pay for home repairs or utilities. Many communities provide transportation to and from doctor’s appointments and shopping destinations, so you may not need a car. Most senior living communities also provide three meals a day, so you won’t spend money on groceries.
“By the time I paid my bills and expenses, I was spending more money than I do here,” says Joanne Driscoll, a resident of Treemont Retirement Community in Houston, Texas. “And I get three meals a day and weekly housekeeping. I can’t imagine a better way to live at this age.”
Senior living may help you maintain independence longer than living at home. Regular meals keep you nourished, which ensures better health and more energy.
When you have multiple medications to take, it’s hard to remember when to take them all, which puts your health at risk. Treemont Retirement Community partners with Senior Allegiance to provide medication management and assist with other tasks of daily living. The company offers full-service medication as well as a reminders program, ensuring you stay on track.
With housekeeping, transportation, and personal needs taken care of, you have more time to pursue hobbies. You won’t have to ask your son or daughter to drive you to places. You can focus on spending quality time with each other rather than caregiver duties.
Senior living communities are starting to recognize the benefits of pets.
In addition to providing companionship and love, pets offer a number of health benefits. Studies show pet ownership helps reduce stress and increases social interaction—both powerful mood-boosters.Look for a pet-friendly senior living community. Many Treemont residents have pets. Not only do owners love having their companions with them, other residents love interacting with pets.
Have you looked at a senior living community’s event calendar? Many communities offer activities to keep you busy from morning to night.
A glance at Treemont’s monthly calendar shows fitness classes, educational clinics, TED talks, writing and language programs, and activities such as sing-alongs, movie nights, card games, lunch groups, and more.
Treemont activity director Monica Muniz assembles a full schedule that reflects the needs and wants of its residents. Established and emerging social butterflies have plenty of opportunities to meet and engage with friendly people. For the quieter senior, there are social opportunities at each meal or even while reading a book in the library.
As we age, we settle into a routine that’s hard to break, even when it’s not working anymore. We like our neighborhood and neighbors, but health issues keep us isolated. We may enjoy living alone, but balance issues put us at risk of falling.
Senior living communities provide a safe environment for older adults to thrive. Treemont has all interior corridors and conducts twice-daily safety checks to make sure everyone’s OK. All apartments have emergency call systems, and an on-call evening security guard provides peace of mind.
“My children know someone will check every evening at 9 p.m. and again at 9 a.m.,” says Treemont resident Jean. “It’s a win-win for the children too!”
Some senior living facilities do feel a bit sterile. When touring potential communities, use all five senses. How does it smell? Do the residents and staff appear happy and content? What’s the noise level? Does staff greet you warmly? Most important, how’s the food?
With fresh paint, warm colors, and wide corridors, Treemont creates a homelike environment. You’ll find cozy nooks inside and scenic gardens outside where you can relax and visit with friends and family. When you visit Treemont, ask to view the Jageman Garden, maintained by resident Paula Jageman.
Staff helps newcomers get settled in and adjusted to their new lifestyle. Adult children can rest easy knowing their parents will have help acclimating.
Free from isolation and the stresses of maintaining a home, residents find a new way to live. They often develop late-life friendships and feel more energetic and engaged.
Now that we’ve cleared up a few misconceptions, are you ready to give senior living a try?
Contact Treemont Retirement Community today to take a tour and a free lunch. Resident Counselors Lupe and Linda are always available to answer questions. And after you move in, they continue to stay connected to their residents. Call 713-783-6820 or visit www.Treemont.com to see why residents happily call Treemont home.