No matter who we are, if we are fortunate to live long, age always catches up. With old age comes challenges that were once easy tasks performed without a second thought. It gets to the point where you have to move to a retirement home to receive better care and attention.
However, to make the transition from the familiar surroundings of your home is not an easy adjustment. Leaving a place you have called home for decades to a retirement residence can be daunting and stressful at first. In fact, you are likely to resist the move with every fibre in your body.
It’s understandable to feel this way. Nonetheless, there are good reasons for moving into a retirement home. You might even like it if you approach it with a positive attitude. To make it easier for you, here are a number of ways you can ease your transition to a retirement home.
1. Own Your Space
Chances are you are not going to move to a retirement home with all your belongings. You will have to leave stuff behind. However, this does not mean you cannot bring along some of your most important items. Once you arrive at the retirement home, set up your new space with the stuff that matters most to you. Make it feel as homely as possible within the set parameters. The trick is to make your new space your own, a place you can call ‘home’.
2. Enjoy the Amenities and Services Provided
At the retirement home, you are at home with others just like you. You don’t have to worry about home ownership or paying rent. Besides, there are cleaning and housekeeping services offered at the retirement home. Take advantage of them. Imagine having meals cooked for you and not having to wash the dishes afterwards.
3. Connect and Engage
As soon as you enter into a retirement home, engage with others and avoid isolating yourself. While no one expects you to be a social animal, occasionally leave your room and enjoy your new environment, and the people as well. Since you are likely to be here for the rest of your life, engage and stay active to keep your physical and mental health upbeat. Being socially, mentally and physically active can actually prolong your life. Establish activities you like at the retirement home and stay active and social.
4. Speak up When Necessary
You don’t have to be a docile bird. If there is something you don’t like at the retirement home, air your concerns. Since you will be here for the rest of your life, you might as well make sure it is as comfortable and livable as possible. You also want to remain happy and contented for the rest of your time on earth. Voice your concerns and let the relevant staff know what you are not comfortable with, and why. If something is bothering you, speak up so the relevant staff at the home can fix it.
5. Take Time to Adjust
A retirement home may not be exactly what you are used to. It’s not the same as the condo or home you were accustomed to. It will take time to adjust, but with the right attitude and persistent effort, you will. With time, you will get used to your new environment and people. It is perfectly okay to feel disoriented at first as you adjust to your new home. Be patient with yourself and you will soon be feeling at home.
A seamless transition to a retirement home has more to do with being realistic, being open to new things, making new friends, and taking it all as a fun-filled lifetime adventure.