Aging in the Right Place is All About Choice

Providing extra support with things like housekeeping, prepared meals, and transportation, they also boast calendars offering both on- and off-site entertainment, fitness classes, and education programs. Moving to these communities means planning ahead so support is available if or when they may need it.

Studies show that people choosing to relocate to independent retirement communities, while still relatively healthy, actually have fewer health challenges and enjoy a higher quality of life than those of similar age who remain in private residential neighborhoods. This may be the result of being in an environment where residents have access to healthy meals, engage in regular social interaction, are encouraged to participate in physical fitness programs, and experience peace-of-mind from knowing they aren’t alone should they become ill or fall.

 

3) Needs-based moves

Unlike the two other types of moves, needs-based moves are usually involuntary. In other words, the person was told they ‘had to move’ or they perceived they had little choice in the matter. Relocations of this type are often precipitated by a fall or result from functional challenges associated with chronic illness or cognitive decline. When moving out of necessity, housing options become more limited.

Needs-based moves are often made directly from the hospital to a long term care facility or assisted living. The hardest kind of move one can make, these are usually the result of an ‘I’m not ready yet’ mentality or lack of financial means to otherwise have proactively relocated. Involuntary moves have been shown in numerous studies to correlate with higher levels of depression and decreased quality of life and well-being.

 

It’s about choice

Evidence (both empirical and anecdotal) shows that advance planning and preparations are critical for ensuring your residence meets your needs as you age. So, rather than simply a goal to ‘age-in-place,’ why not make the goal to age in the “right” place.

In fact, what it boils down to is control.

It’s who is in control of the decision, whether to move or stay put, that makes all the difference. When you make the decision for yourself, either in advance or in the moment, you control your own destiny. If left for others to decide on your behalf, you may not like the outcome.

 

Editor’s Note: Article provided by Helen Morgan, Resource 55 . Author, Nikki Buckelew, OKC Mature Moves