Aging, Elder Care, and Senior Retirement Centers
There was a time, not that long ago, when a senior citizen could plan
on living with an adult child as the years took their relentless toll.
Now senior retirement centers are popping up seemingly everywhere.
It's a good idea to take a look at why these changes are taking place
and how each of us can best fit into this new pattern of elder care.
The most glaring difference today is the prevalence of working women.
Even a few decades ago, a full-time homemaker often had the time and
energy to care for an aging parent in her own residence. Many homes
boasted a "mother-in-law" apartment in the basement, over the garage
of somewhere else on the premises. In many economic, social and
religious groups it was a matter of pride to "care for one's own". In
addition, there were few really appealing options beyond that ethic.
The reason there are so many senior retirement centers today is not
just the lack of wives at home to take on the responsibility of
geriatric care, there is also a preference surfacing in the seniors
themselves. No matter how welcoming the environment is, a private home
usually doesn't offer the stimulation and peer relationships that the
new senior retirement centers are providing. Many seniors frankly want
to choose their own support-oriented residence.
If incomes are high enough, savings are adequate or HUD and Medicaid
benefits are available, it can be a win/win situation. Full calendars
and new friendships can replace the isolation that living in another
person's home can produce. Even the most loving adult child is usually
busy with the demands of a full life of his/her own. What can ensue is
Not all senior retirement centers are supportive. Careful
investigation needs to be done to find a match. However, the rewards
that come from putting some serious time and effort into the search
can be great.
As this cultural change develops, a surprising factor is surfacing. At
one time, the dread of making such arrangements kept seniors from
moving on until it was absolutely necessary. What we are starting to
observe is a trend involving seniors moving into these new facilities
earlier out of choice. Enthusiasm is replacing fear and years of
active, support-oriented living can be the unexpected bonus.
Those who doubt the wisdom of selling their homes and moving into a
center are visiting friends who have made just such
a choice. They often find that the pros outweigh the cons. As the new
centers appear, competition is emerging and the units, amenities and
perks become increasingly attractive. It's getting to be a "don't
knock it if you haven't tried it" situation with positive results.
About the Author:
life has included careers in nursing, teaching pre-school, interior
design, Real Estate sales, insurance adjusting, and dairy herd
testing. Visit for
Motivation & Success.
Webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed
Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate