December 2019 — The Wesley Communities

Tip #21 of 50 – Holiday Memories and Traditions

As The Wesley Communities celebrate 50 years of excellent service, our CEO Peg Carmany offers “Peg’s Perspective” on a variety of topics affecting seniors and their adult children as they plan and choose to age well – 50 tips to celebrate 50 years!

Tip #21 of 50 – Holiday Memories and Traditions

I have some very powerful memories of the holidays as a child, and I bet you do, too. At our house, we were living in Southern California (no snow!) and my dad was the pastor of Fontana Community Church. So for us, Christmas always meant church, church, and then, more church. My brothers and my mother and I always played multiple roles – taking the offering, singing in the choir, doing the readings that accompanied the Advent Candle lighting, etc. There was a life-sized Nativity that was set up every year (we helped), and sometimes, it was even supplemented with live animals (again, we helped).

In my family, the watchword for the holidays was never “presents,” although my brothers and I did look with some longing at the total “haul” that other kids made. Instead, it was the very simple and very powerful message of love, year after year.

Sometimes, now, when I find myself getting caught up in the shopping, and the buying, and the planning, and the (more) buying . . . I think back to those days. I had a very happy childhood, “haul” or not.

So, do you have holiday traditions that go along with your memories? And are you worried that moving to a retirement community might mean giving them up? Let me assure you, a move into independent living allows you to bring your holiday favorites, and our communities of course allow for most of your traditions to continue, although we really tend to discourage folks from getting on the roof to hang lights! Our communities are beautifully decorated, special meals are prepared, and we celebrate the holidays for all. Retirement community living adds, it does not detract.


How CCRCs Can Ease Retirement-Related Fears

One subject that is frequently voiced among prospective residents of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs or “life plan communities”) revolves around the stress associated with envisioning and planning for the future, and indeed, it can feel like a daunting task since none of us have the luxury of a crystal ball. The results of a recent survey speak directly to some of these concerns. Click the link above to learn more about the results of the survey and how CCRCs may ease the fears related to retirement.


Caregiving Tips for the Holidays

Help a Caregiver You Know

  • Offer to help clean and cook, wrap presents, go shopping, or pick up the kids.
  • If your family is caregiving, suggest a potluck holiday meal or secret Santa gift exchange to save time and money.
  • The best gift you could give a caregiver is help. Give them the day off!
  • Remember to say “thank you” to a caregiver and let them know they are appreciated.
  • If a member of your family is caregiving for a relative this holiday season, send a thank you gift.

Click the link above for additional tips for those caring for a loved one during the holidays.


3 Reasons Seniors Delay a CCRC Move & Why They Should Reconsider

According to AARP’s most recent survey of adults age 50 and over, 76 percent of seniors want to remain in their homes for as long as possible. I’ve seen other surveys that put that figure at upwards of 90 percent. Whichever source you consider, the consensus seems to be that a large majority of retirees would prefer to stay in their current home rather than move to a retirement community such as a continuing care retirement community (CCRC or life plan community).

But why?

AARP research identified the most common reasons that people give for not wanting to move to a CCRC or other senior living community. They included: the physical stress in moving, fear of losing independence, anxiety over leaving a community, emotional attachment to a family home, and fear of the unknown. Click the link above to learn more about why seniors delay moving to a CCRC and why they should reconsider.


Tip #20 of 50 – Loneliness in Seniors, an Enormous Problem

As The Wesley Communities celebrate 50 years of excellent service, our CEO Peg Carmany offers “Peg’s Perspective” on a variety of topics affecting seniors and their adult children as they plan and choose to age well – 50 tips to celebrate 50 years!

Tip #20 of 50 – A problem no one wants to talk about: Loneliness can be an enormous problem for seniors still living in their homes

In the hierarchy of human needs, food, shelter, and safety are at the top of the list. And oftentimes, seniors living alone can meet these basic needs fairly well, especially with services provided in the home, and necessities more readily available through things like Uber and personal shoppers. But once you step beyond these basic human requirements to sustain life, social interaction and connection are of the utmost importance, and oftentimes, can be missing elements for seniors living alone.

Sometimes, there is an adult child or a saintly neighbor (or even a beloved pet) who is able to meet this human need for contentedness, but when the adult children live out of town, or the saintly neighbor moves away, or the beloved pet dies, there is a very real void that directly, and negatively, impacts the quality of life for the senior living on their own.

If you are an adult child (with the very best of intentions!) and you visit or call and find yourself listening to an almost non-stop barrage of words, believe me, you are not alone. In this situation, patience is a must, especially when often, this is a time when that might be in short supply in your life. I invite you to carefully consider a suggestion (often rejected as out of hand, but persevere) to your aging parent that they begin to consider a move to a retirement community.

And if you are a senior living at home alone, and you find yourself truly missing social connectedness, I also invite you to consider either on your own, or perhaps upon the gentle suggestion of someone else, a close look at retirement community living.

Aging is not just about staying alive. Aging at its finest is about finding meaning and making connections that make life worth living. Not everyone is comfortable in a crowd, and leaving the familiarity of a long-time residence can be overwhelming. But remember: you are never too old to make lifelong friends.

At The Wesley Communities, we know that transitions can be difficult. We also know that quality of life is vastly improved for those folks who make the move. Our communities are filled with people who wondered what this next stage of life might be like, and are absolutely delighted they made the decision to move.