Recently I sat in to listen to a panel of seniors that had moved to senior housing in the recent past. Each had moved to a different senior living option; a cooperative, a senior rental with a continuum campus, a senior condominium and a Life Care Community (or sometimes referred to as a Continuum of Care Retirement Community or CCRC). All of the panelists were independent.
The panel was given a list of questions to touch on:
- What prompted them to move?
- What were features they were looking for?
- How did they manage the move?
- What surprises and difficulties did they encounter?
- How long did it take to feel at home?
- What do you like or not like now that you are settled?
The things that I heard that were consistent with what I know from all the clients I’ve worked with are the following:
Why they moved:
- They wanted it to be their choice not their kids and they wanted to be in control of the decision and avoid a crisis move
- They didn’t want to deal with the maintenance of their home
- They were looking for a sense of community and a good location
What they like about where they are:
- They enjoy the sense of community, the activities, not having to cook all the time if they didn’t want to.
- They have peace of mind as they age (for those that moved to a continuum of care option) Some felt it was their last move and others knew they need to make a 2nd move to a higher level of services/care.
- Less to worry about than with owning a home, and an accessible home should they need it.
What was difficult?
Downsizing was difficult. They all said this but once they did it they were so glad they did. Services to help with the move were wonderful and made the task easier. Saying goodbye to those in the community where they had a lived a long time was difficult as well.
In the discussion they talked about costs of each option and waiting lists. What I didn’t hear, is price being a factor in where they chose. Maybe it was but it didn’t raise to the top. Other things were more important, at least to these panelists.