Ask YOUR Ally in Aging: A Series
“Dear Ally, I have been all by myself for several months now. Since I retired and my partner died, I live alone. Before COVID, I would go out, see friends, go to movies, my book club, volunteer — I was always busy. Now it’s just me, myself and I. Am I crazy to be thinking of moving to a senior community? What do you think?”
— Lonely Threesome
Dear Lonely 3,
No, it is not crazy to rethink your choices considering how the world has changed. It will be a long time before activities happen in the ways they did before. The new normal for many older adults will continue to participate in virtual activities, remote meetings, and at the most limited contact with others for short periods of time during senior shopping hours, essential errands, and social distance walks. Many retirement communities and assisted living residences have found new ways to provide creative programs. They have had to develop approaches to health and safety that were not relevant before. There is more availability and more incentives for moving in.
The questions you need to ask yourself, are the same ones you need to be thinking about whether you stay where you are or choose to move to a senior community:
1) If I became sick, how would I get the care I need?
2) How can I be assured of safe access to healthy food, prescriptions, and medical care?
3) What resources are available to prevent me from becoming socially isolated?
4) How can the “safer-at-home” life be made interesting and meaningful?
Setting up a virtual consultation with a skilled care manager can help you imagine your future in different settings and understand your choices.
There is not one right decision.
Ask Ally is written by Malka Young, LICSW, Director of Allies in Aging JFS Elder Care Solutions