Being Ready When the Time is Right
At a recent Open House event, I spoke at length with a lovely gentleman who had seen our ad in the newspaper and wanted to “see what Carillon was all about.” The gentleman lived close by, lived alone, and told me he was getting along just fine on his own.
“I’m not ready for assisted living,” he told me more than once, as we toured the community and watched the chef’s culinary presentation in the dining room. “I just wanted to see what this was all about.”
We chatted easily and at length about life, health, friends and family; I mostly listened while he talked. Soon, he began to open up and share details about his living situation, which was less than ideal, as it turned out. He spent most of his days alone. He had difficulty getting around his two-story home, and had closed off the upstairs as he could no longer make it up and down the stairs safely. He loved to entertain friends, but rarely invited anyone over because of the effort it took to cook and clean up. He reminisced about his late wife’s pot roast and brisket – a far cry from the frozen TV dinners he pops in the microwave now, he told me. His daughter gets upset because he sometimes forgets to take his blood pressure medication, he admitted.
“But I’m doing alright for now,” he repeated. “I’m not ready to move just yet.”
He may not feel ready for a move, but clearly, it is time for a change. I asked him when he thought he would be ready. In about a year, he said. Maybe two. That is a refrain we hear often in the senior living industry: A year, maybe two.
It was hard to watch this lovely gentleman go back to his empty house and to TV dinners and to a less-than-ideal life. But we kept in touch, kept the lines of communication open, and I extended an open invitation to return to the community for other events and activities.
Change is hard no matter what your age. Certainly, the decision to leave your home after 30, 40 years or more is a difficult one. At Carillon, our challenge is not to convince seniors and their families that they are ready for the move to assisted living, but merely to help them spot the difference between the life they are living and the life they desire.
Our communities are places where life happens and celebrations occur every day. Our assisted living homes are places of possibility and lively engagement. Most importantly, making your home here means never having to choose between the day-to-day care you need and the life you want.
I think – I hope – that I conveyed that to my new friend, that lovely gentleman. He deserves all that life has to offer.
on July 29, 2013