Overcoming the emotions of transition
John Grady says there were multiple times he questioned the decision to move his parents, Mary and Robert Grady, out of their home of 40 years and into a retirement community.
“My dad was fighting us on the move, and all the way through move day, my mom did not want to go,” John said. “She was very angry and very upset. That’s her home. That’s where she wanted to be the rest of her life. The months leading up to the move were the most difficult months we had as a family, and there were a number of times we wondered if we were doing the right thing.”
Grady’s situation is an all too familiar one for many sons and daughters. With seniors today living longer than ever before, more and more families are having to plan for future living arrangements. The process may be a trying one and emotions can run the gamut – from guilt and sadness to fear and frustration.
John first recognized the need for change one year before his parents finally agreed to move. His parents were having difficulty navigating the stairs in their home and eventually their deteriorating health led to multiple falls.
“We began to put the full-court press on,” John said. “It definitely wasn’t an overnight process. It took us a long time and hours of conversation discussing why this needs to be done. We just tried to be understanding.”
Getting a doctor's advice
Robert and Mary eventually gave in only after the family’s doctor intervened. The couple’s health had declined to the point the doctor thought it unsafe for them to remain in their home. John’s parent’s would require assistance to navigate the home and would need immediate medical attention in the event of an accident, the doctor concluded.
The Gradys decided their best option was independent retirement living (IRL), and they chose The Inn at Cass Lake in Waterford, Michigan. Independent retirement communities provide a unique and versatile lifestyle suited for seniors who still desire independence but simply need a little bit of extra help as opposed to around-the-clock assistance. Residents of IRL communities enjoy the freedom from many of life’s daily tasks, including cooking, cleaning, driving, home maintenance, and transportation, while receiving the safety and security that comes from community living.
From pleasant housekeepers, to attentive servers at mealtime, and helpful maintenance technicians who are there when you need them, The Inn at Cass Lake worked to become a new extension of the Grady family.
The value of the community quickly became evident for John and his family. A short time after moving in, Robert fell and hit his head. Thanks to her quick thinking, Mary used the 24/7 emergency response services offered by Holiday Retirement, and help soon arrived to aid Robert within minutes.
“We would have spent much of our day in the hospital emergency ward had they not been in the care of The Inn at Cass Lake,” John said.
Community managers can also serve as tremendous resources and advocates during the moving process, helping to facilitate a smooth transition, connecting families with realtors and other moving services, welcoming families to the community, getting the resident(s) settled in, and keeping paperwork organized.
The managers at The Inn at Cass Lake sensed Robert and Mary’s apprehension about the move from the start and were there for support.
“They were fantastic,” John said. “That really made a difference in my mom’s comfort level. Once I visited my parents shortly after the move, they were back to normal. We have absolutely no regrets. They’ve responded very well and are making this their new home.”
The challenges of moving a loved one into senior living can appear daunting and emotions can sometimes run high. Ultimately, it was a doctor’s advice that persuaded John’s parents to make the move, and he says getting the support of medical personnel, or other outside experts, can help you and your family maintain focus on the ultimate goal – a better quality of life.
Most of all, John says, it’s important to be patient, understanding, and willing to help.