Where I used to live: When does home stop being home?
If you were to make a list of all the times you’ve heard someone say, “I simply can’t wait until I can move into a senior living community!” or “I simply can’t wait to have the conversation with my parent or grandparent about moving into a senior living community!”, how many pieces of paper would you need?
Well, as the saying goes, between slim and none. And slim’s out of town.
No one on either side ever looks forward to that conversation. People on the younger end of it don’t look forward to being on the other end of it.
Still, for many, those talks are coming.
They’re coming, and usually, they’re not a lot of fun. Fear and resistance on one side square off with frustration, exhaustion, and guilt on the other. Winding throughout it all will be the repeated declarations, “I don’t want/need to leave my home” and “I don’t want to lose my independence.”
Which is really hard to argue with. Who would?
Because of that, a path through these deep woods isn’t clear. Hyper-emotions cloud vision. And rushing through the process, or trying to force a resolution, or pretending it’s not a big decision isn’t going to get you to a good place.
Because of course, it’s a big decision. It’s a huge decision.
It’s about nothing less than how you’re going to live your life. It doesn’t “affect” your life, it doesn’t “change” your life—it is your life. It’s the whole game.
Yet…within those two “I don’t want” statements may be the compass that leads you to that good place. Because there’s another way of looking at this decision, and it involves turning that compass upside-down.
What is it that makes a home, a home?
What’s the true definition of independence?
What if moving into senior living was understood not as leaving one’s home, but as returning to it?
Because if “staying in my home” or “maintaining my independence” is the goal, where do these things fit?
- Always feeling alone and isolated
- Usually relying on others for things big and small
- Often failing to eat properly
- Difficulty maintaining the house
- Uncertainty about medications
- Rarely feeling healthy and robust
- Fearing what happens if there’s an emergency
Meanwhile, there are things you can choose to move towards:
- A community of ready friends with much in common
- 24/7 personalized care from expert and compassionate caregivers
- Three exceptional meals a day, every day
- Easy access to recreational and cultural events
- A convenient, safe and comfortable home with constant life-enriching activities
- The peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re right where you want to be
And most of all: a return to enjoying your family as family, rather than stressed caregivers.
As it turns out, deciding to move to a senior living community isn’t about loss. It’s about repairing loss. It’s about reclaiming what has always been yours: your home. Your family. Your best life.
That’s why the keyword in “senior living” is living.
Getting to it can be a challenge, but the destination pays off. There’s a surprise that no one really expects: However reluctantly a senior may make the move, they’re almost always glad they did. As in right-now, within-a-week glad. That’s true at Cedarhurst, and it’s true at all reputable senior living communities.
Goodbye, guilt. Hello, relief. You and your loved one have done exactly the right thing.
Here at Cedarhurst, we would never advise you to tell your loved one that “it’s time for you to leave home.” But we would advise you to help them consider that the definition of “home” is flexible and can shift.
Home isn’t an address. Home truly is where the heart is—and where friends, food, care, safety, respect, and love are, too.
When you’re ready to explore senior living, we’ll be happy to discuss options and offer you and your family guidance with patience, compassion, sensitivity, and understanding.