Retirement age is said to be the golden era of your dear one’s life, and how they spend this, is a huge decision for you and your family. Choosing a good retirement home ensures they spend their golden years in the best way possible with dignity, safety, and care.
An increasing number of senior citizens are moving into Retirement Homes in search of safety, independence, and companionship. However, here are some differences in the quality of life in retirement homes that you must consider before taking this all-important decision for your dear ones!
Advantages of Retirement Home Life
1. With advancing age, people often lose motor functions; hence, performing day-to-day activities becomes a daunting task for most. With the children out for work and grandchildren away in schools or colleges, the elderly are often left alone at home to fend for themselves.
An alternative to this is to find an honest and dedicated caregiver who can help with the everyday chores around the house. In retirement homes, there are well-trained direct care teams to help with daily activities such as dining, bathing, dressing, and using the washroom leading to a convenient retirement home life.
2. Medical care and emergency services for the elders are always a priority. An emergency can arise anytime when the family members are away at work. As a reason, the elderly should have someone with them who can schedule appointments with doctors and go with them to the OPD frequently. In case of a medical emergency, it is good to have a person who can take care of hospitalization.
Any negligence can make the proverbial difference between life and death, but it is not easy with tens of other problems taking up your time. Since retirement homes are for senior citizens, doctors are always at hand, and emergency services are available 24×7. This ensures a negligence-free retirement home life for your dear one.
3. Safety is a concern for senior citizens. Every other day there are cases of crime against seniors, whether intrusions, burglary, or murder. The steady security in a retirement home gives them protection from intruders and criminals and helps them live a safe and secure retirement home life.
4. One factor that makes retirement home life attractive to elders is companionship. If their children are away from home, they have to live alone, and that can cause stress and depression. Ideally, there should be a companion at home who can fill this void, but this is not possible always.
People are too busy with their own lives to provide companionship to elders. Companionship is paramount, especially for those who have lost their spouses or do not have children of their own. In retirement homes, they are in the constant company of people their age, making the retirement home life rather enjoyable.
5. Memory Loss is often an issue with the elderly. Staying home may lead to dangerous situations such as wandering out and losing themselves, leaving the gas burners on, their hygiene needs not being met, or family members facing caregiver burnout. Therapeutic memory care is provided in retirement homes such as those associated with dining, activities of daily living, and emotional well-being.
For, engagement in meaningful activities is one of the critical elements of good memory care, as such opportunities can not only help residents preserve their functional abilities, but enhance their overall quality of life in retirement homes. Due to mobility limitations, seniors are often relegated to a sedentary life without entertainment, parties, outings, or celebrations. A good retirement home life also takes care of these needs by celebrating birthdays, festivals, etc.
6. But most important of all, the retirement home life offers them a life of dignity where they are not dependent or a burden to others who may be too busy with their own lives to take care of them!
Disadvantages of Retirement Home Life
However, there are certain disadvantages too, which you must consider when moving your dear ones into a retirement home.
1. Services cost money, making retirement homes more expensive. Therefore, the higher the cost, the better the services. Mostly, elderly people are pensioners or are financially dependent on their children. They do not have a lot of money to spend, and there are soaring hospitalization and medicine bills to be paid. So, only when you have large fixed deposits or other financial investments, providing your recurrent income in the form of interest you must consider moving them into a retirement home.
2. When it comes to living space and choice of food, retirement homes have a limited choice to offer. They may be in the mood for a pizza but the kitchen may have noodles on its menu! Retirement home life is more like community living, and there is a lack of privacy. It is not the same as living in your own home. However, if they are fit and mobile, you can always take them out for a movie or dinner.
3. The retirement home life is impersonal. Living there does not have that personal dimension and freedom to it. This could give rise to emotional problems like depression because they may miss their friends, relatives, children, and grandchildren. However, if the bonds are strong enough, their friends, relatives, children, and grandchildren would find time to visit them. Moreover, a positive outlook will make them engage in various hobbies and meaningful activities to make them less dependent on others for their happiness and make their retirement home life brighter.
So, you and your family must weigh all the pros and cons and more importantly, discuss them with your dear one before taking this major decision of life for them and your own.