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A New Look to Aging in Place – Part 3

November 11, 2015

This is the third in a three-part series dedicated to helping older adults make important decisions for a happy, secure and fulfilling life.
In the previous articles the first six key factors to consider when planning where to live later in life were discussed, including physical and mental health changes, the importance of social connections, security and home maintenance.
Here is the final set of factors to contemplate when making this important life decision:
1.Transportation

We all need to get where we are going each day, even in retirement.  Whether this means getting to an appointment, running errands or just getting out to make the most of each day. As we age our driving skills and eyesight may not be as sharp as they once were.  Furthermore, who needs the cost and maintenance of an automobile if commuting is no longer a requirement? Many senior living communities offer their residents free transportation. In addition, some of them, like The Merion in Evanston, are located in the heart of bustling neighborhoods with the conveniences of retail, restaurants and parks right outside the front door.
2. Meals and Nutrition

I don’t know about you, but when I think about my own retirement one of the first things I hope to enjoy are healthy meals, preferably prepared by someone other than myself. We all know that eating a balanced mix of foods every day has many health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, bone loss, and some types of cancer. Senior living communities are developed with the health and well- being of older adults in mind.  For instance, The Merion in Evanston creates healthy made-to-order meals using fresh local ingredients created by a talented culinary staff.  If nutrition, ambience and service are your preference then a senior community may just be what you’re looking for.
3. Downsizing

No one looks forward to the headache of moving, especially if you have deep ties to a particular place. However, choosing to downsize on your own terms can be liberating for you and comforting for those close to you.  Planning ahead takes the burden off of loved ones having to make difficult decisions should we become unable to at some point down the road. It ensures that the possessions we deem valuable get to where we want them to go, and, more importantly, provides a long-term plan of our own accord.  Downsizing doesn’t always have to be stressful, especially when it signifies a new chapter in our life. Joining a new community, forging new friendships and the joys of a new home are all exciting endeavors, whether you’re heading to college or retirement!
4. Amenities/Convenience

At senior living communities like The Merion in Evanston the all-inclusive amenities often rival any vacation resort, whether it’s an emphasis on the arts that you value, or you seek self-enrichment opportunities, such as yoga, educational lectures and intergenerational volunteering.  Perhaps you want the thrill of interactive games, tournaments, excursions and day trips, or maybe exploring nearby beaches and neighborhoods peek your interest.  From clubs to cooking demonstrations and everything in between, senior living communities have many comforts and features that may appeal to you.  Just keep in mind, with so much to do, your family just may start vacationing at your place!
These ten key factors are worth considering when you feel the time is right to plan for these important life decisions.  You can never be too prepared. As a wise man once said, “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining” (John F. Kennedy, State of the Union Address January 11, 1962).

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