My wife and I were discussing her mother’s dilemma. She is 88 years old and in a nursing center rehab program now for two months with her fate becoming increasingly clear; she will not be able to live by herself anymore. She fell in her home and couldn’t get up.
Only a little over a year ago she turned down a chance to move to a nice little independent living community when her name came up on the list. She said she was still not quite ready for that.
She had placed her name on the waiting list for this independent living community maybe 5 years ago. But each time her name came up she wasn’t ready. My wife and I couldn’t understand her decision not to move to a better place, where she could socialize more and be near help if she needed it. This last time in an interview meeting, the director of this community advised her not to wait too long – enjoy in while you are still able.
Now it appears she will be skipping the independent living stage, going straight to assisted living or to the nursing center. She didn’t want to move when she had a say so, but now it looks like she will be moving with no say so.
We see parallels in our own lives. When we sold a business five years ago we started looking around for places to retire. This process helped me to start Retirement Media which has turned out to be an enjoyable retirement job and I am still learning and exploring the options.
However it is now five years later and at age 63 we are still “thinking” about our options in retirement. We came close last year to buying a home in a 55 plus community (see Analysis of a Move to a 55 Plus Community) but with the uncertain economy and depressed real estate market, decided the time was not right.
The time was not right for us. Where have we heard that before. Are we doing the same thing as my mother in law. Just not ready yet. It is not like we are giving anything up. To the contrary, this should improve our lifestyle. So why are we reluctant. It is really the real estate market or is it something else.
Last year when we told our neighbor of our plans to move to a 55+ community, she replied “so that’s where you are going to end up?”. Humm. Didn’t think of it that way. Or did we?
Even a change for the better is hard to make. You are giving up what you are familiar with for something new. Maybe now I can understand the mother in law’s reluctance a little better.