Ask Our Experts: When is the right time for retirement living?

Paul Hazzard, Corporate Sales Consultant
Paul Hazzard
Corporate Sales Consultant
At Chartwell since 2014

Q: “My mother passed away recently, so my father now lives on his own. Although he isn’t the best cook, and occasionally needs me to help with a home maintenance project, he seems to be managing. I’ve thought about introducing the idea of retirement living to him, but how do I know if it’s the right time?”

Truthfully, when your parent has reached an age when they could use some extra support around the house or with meals, there’s no wrong time for retirement living. There’s certainly no harm in starting the conversation with your loved one, letting them know that there are other living options in their area or close by their family that can cater to their specific needs, big or small. You may find it worthwhile to begin exploring local retirement residences with your parent, as it’ll not only help to dispel any misconceptions that they may have about retirement living, but also help them to discover the benefits for themselves.

Q: “Are there certain signs that may more clearly indicate if it’s time for my father to consider retirement living?”

There are some signs you can look for when debating whether to bring up the topic of retirement living with your parent. One I come across frequently is weight-loss; it’s not uncommon for seniors who are in need of more support to simply skip meals or prepare basic ones that lack proper nutritional value. The fact is, for some individuals, the thought of shopping for groceries and preparing meals can be overwhelming, especially if they are also managing health challenges.

Another common indicator is loneliness and depression. Even if we visit frequently, or arrange for someone to prepare meals, clean and maintain the house for our loved one, they may still be experiencing feelings of loneliness, especially if they’ve recently lost a spouse or a close friend. It’s normal for seniors to want regular companionship with other individuals their age, which a retirement community can readily provide.

Q: “Why would my father consider retirement living if he hasn’t experienced a health scare/isn’t in poor health?”

I think most of us would agree that it’s always best to be proactive and stay in control of our lives. Nobody wants to make a move when they aren’t feeling well, or have to rely on a family member to make a decision for them. With this in mind, it’s beneficial for your parent to make the move before a decline in their health, as the supportive services they’ll receive at a retirement residence—from delicious and nutritious meals to exercise classes to social opportunities—may actually improve their health and help stave off any stress or potential injury associated with trying to maintain their home. Should your parent’s health hit a snag, the great thing is a retirement residences also has in-house care and wellness services that can help get them back on their feet and enjoying their retirement years.

Still wondering if your loved one is ready for retirement living? Take Chartwell’s “Is It Time” Survey for more insight.

About Paul Hazzard

Paul has been in the senior living industry for over four years. As a Corporate Sales Consultant, his mission is to help seniors and their families discover the benefits of a retirement living lifestyle and showcase the retirement homes that meet their unique needs and requirements.