Change is scary – especially for a loved one who has lived in the same home for decade.
Even as Marilyn and Bob got older, they never considered moving into a retirement home for many reasons. But as their health continued to decline, they realized a senior community was a good option.
“After talking with our family, we decided it would be better to do so sooner than later, when we could make the decision without someone making it for us,” they said. Marilyn and Bob are part of the majority of seniors who only considered the move after significant health issues forced them to. Ironically, they are also like many of Treemont Retirement Community’s residents in Houston who now tell their friends they wished they made the change to avoid the severity of their health problems, or to have an earlier start on enjoying a renewed social life, improved comfort and boosted confidence.
What allowed them to take a new look at the possibility that retirement living might actually be worth some serious consideration?
Treemont residents and their families said the key to changing their minds about moving to a retirement community is communication and options. Many aging Houstonians aren’t aware of their choices and don’t feel confident enough to ask about them because they are scared of change.
Lupe Sepulveda and Linda Parra are just two of Treemont’s Resident Counselors who understand the fear of change is actually one of the indicators that the current living situation might not truly be the best option for seniors, because it’s “sort of ok.” They work hard to help understand what seniors and families need, and to explain why retirees deserve more than “sort of ok,” even if Treemont ends up not being the right fit.
“I’m used to talking with seniors who are in a difficult position and need a quick solution that gives them and their family the immediate safety and peace of mind they desire,” said Linda, who has worked with seniors for more than two decades. “I love engaging with seniors who are in the early stage of exploring senior living options and don’t need to make a decision right away. That’s when we can have a good dialogue, and I can provide some guidance and direction.”
Linda and other Resident Counselors point out that moving into a retirement community like Treemont is similar to other life transitions – like when they moved into a bigger house when they had children or relocated into a home closer to a new job.
At Treemont, there’s many different living options – from Independent Living apartments to short-term rehabilitation spaces. There’s no one-size-fits-all home, and Treemont’s Resident Counselors talk through each option and the respective benefits before seniors have to make a tough choice.
Seniors are typically optimistic about remaining healthy enough to keep their living situation, but it helps if family or healthcare professionals help assess how the senior’s current home fits their needs. Do they have rooms they do not use for months at a time? Do they live in a community where they have to drive a distance for groceries, doctor appointments or visits with friends? Are they spending their fixed income for companies to mow the lawn, clean the house or make home repairs?
After assessing whether a current living situation is a good “fit,” many seniors come to the realization that the “fit” is no longer right.
Treemont’s Resident Counselors use a checklist, which you can download here, to help seniors visualize if their living situation is right for them. When evaluating a senior’s current situation, Lupe and Linda point out the many benefits Treemont offers that would fit into or elevate their lifestyle.
Many couples – including residents Marilyn and Bob – said they were surprised that senior living has given them the flexibility to satisfy their different lifestyles. Marilyn craves the social aspects of senior living, including exercise and dance classes, movie and game nights, plus holiday celebrations with newfound friends and the Gardening Angels Club – no heavy lifting required, thanks to volunteers.
When she’s out socializing, her husband Bob appreciates his alone time at home and surfs the internet, checking out his stock portfolio, in his favorite chair. Marilyn and Bob can meet and enjoy meals with friends in the community, or at one of the hosted lunches in town, but also have the independence to do what they love most every day.
Other couples and singles at Treemont rave about the ease of living in new home without stairs, close to doctors and without the worry of unexpected financial bills and transportation hassles.
If you or your loved one is stuck in a “sort of ok” living situation, or trapped in a home they’ve grown out of because of fear, reach out to one of Treemont’s Resident Counselors today or come by for a tour.
“We pride ourselves on being good listeners whose goal is to help seniors and their families find the best solution,” said Lupe.“It’s a big family here at Treemont. It’s a home that we come to every day and a big family that we come to see every day.”
Contact Treemont Retirement Community today to take a tour and get a free lunch. Resident Coordinators 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. Treemont is located at 2501 Westerland Dr. off Westheimer in the Westchase neighborhood of West Houston.
For more information, please call Linda, Lupe or Keri at 713-783-6820. For Nursing, rehabilitation or assisted living, call Kelli at 713-816-2033. Treemont is located in the Memorial / Westchase neighborhood at 2501 Westerland Blvd near Gessner. They are happy to have walk-in tours, including on weekends.
To view this article as published in the Houston Chronicle, click here.