Thursday, July 24, 2008

Moving Into a Retirement Community

Mom didn't have to say anything about selling her home of 40 years and moving into a retirement community.  She didn't have to say anything because everything was written on her face.   Having family closeby quieted some of her fears but losing most things familiar--your home, your friends, your hang-outs, your doctors, and facing the last stage of your life wreaks havoc with emotions.   

For four nights Mom and Auntie Peggy sampled a very different kind of living, vastly different from their primarily solitary unscheduled routines.  The reality that this was not their usual vacation but a major life change sobered their outlook.  More than ever, they scrutinized the living accommodations (tiny), the food (good but not great), and the people (very, very nice).

I, too, was anxious about the visit.  I pondered what I could do to make the imminent transition as painless as possible.  Here's what I did:

1. I planned dinner and tea with my friends and acquaintances and their resident mothers both on and off site.

2. I put lots of snacks into the refrigerator (it's no good contemplating a move on an empty stomach!).

3. I requested that the administration display my invitation to all residents that Mom (her sister-in-law, daughter, grandson, wife, and 2 great-granddaughters) would like to meet them on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at the pool.  Refreshments would be provided (by me).  I also indicated that Mom liked to play bridge and pan, bowl, and that she could drive.

Knowing that some events conflicted, I prepared Mom for small if any attendance.   But I was surprised and pleased to find  8-10 men and women who attended.  These people, I suspect, will become her core of new friends as she adjusts to a new life.  


Bear Naked said...

What a wonderful idea to have a meet and greet party to introduce your Mother to the other residents.
And I'm sure that indicating her likes and abilities encouraged many to come and meet her.
Bravo to you.

Bear((( )))

rel106 said...

A very sensitive, kind way to assist your mother. I'll keep this in mind. Thank you.

Ann K. Levine, Esq. said...

what about adding links to information about the different kind of retirement living/assisted living accommodations? I'm not familiar with the vocabulary and what's important to consider when finding the right place.

50something said...

Thanks, Ann, for keeping me on the right path--I'll do as you requested. Watch for future information.