Do you ever think about what might happen to you as you age? No, I don’t mean wrinkles, achy joints and so on. I mean, do you wonder if you’ll be able to continue living on your own in a house, apartment or condo or do you wonder if you’ll end up in a nursing home?
As a nurse, the prospect of ending up in a nursing home is not appealing. Yes there are good ones out there, but my feeling is if I can’t really move around – even in a wheelchair or something – then I really don’t want to be in the position of having others care for me.
I guess it’s because I know the level of care involved for a person that’s bed ridden, and how in some places that care is not quite up to par.
Now, retirement communities are a different story. If I was able to move about, cook for myself and I was generally enjoying life living in a retirement community might not be all that bad.
Many retirement communities are set up so that people are living in apartment or townhouse like dwellings – similar to if they were living on their own. The only major difference is that everyone who’s living in the retirement community is around the same age as you are, and there might be on site nursing care or a doctor that comes around once a week or once a month to check on the residents.
A nurse might even come in daily to help with taking medications and so on, but otherwise the residents live on their own.
Many retirement communities are also set up with a pool and perhaps a communal area where crafts or other community related activities take place so that residents can socialize with one another. I think that’s great since loneliness is often the number one complaint of the elderly. You’d think it would be declining health but it’s loneliness.
I’m actually not surprised at that fact. As I watched my parents age they were saddened as they lost friends they’d grown up with and known most of their lives, lost their own parents and siblings, and eventually when my mother lost my father there was no denying that loneliness was going to be a huge factor that we, as her children, would have to combat.
I’m all for those who are growing older or who are elderly living on their own if they are able to cope or living with relatives, but if they don’t have enough people in their lives to keep them from falling into depression due to loneliness or if their loved ones aren’t able to visit as often as necessary to be sure that the person is coping I think the next best thing is a retirement community.
What do you think?