The move into aged care is a big step – and one that can raise worries, concerns and questions. Most people don’t really enjoy change, and can worry that life in an aged care home will no longer be as they want it. But those worries are probably unfounded – and it will likely turn out that you didn’t have anything to worry about after all! Take these common worries about moving into aged care, for example.
I’ll be bored and lonely
Actually, you may be more bored and lonely if you stay in your own home. When you move into an aged care home, you probably won’t have time to be bored. Aged care facilities are hubs of activity and socialising these days, and provide regular outings, groups, interests and physical and social activities to keep you busy, interested and entertained. You’ll have access to a far wider range of hobbies and activities that you would in your own home – and you’ll be able to do them in the company of plenty of other people. You’ll be surrounded by a community of likeminded people who will quickly become valued companions and friends. And you still have as many opportunities as you like to see your old friends and family. Plus, it’s much easier to get out and about and stay in contact with people when you have transport provided and assistance from your aged care facility.
I don’t want to be reliant on others
Most of us don’t, but there often comes a time when we just can’t do all the things we used to do. Many older people are fiercely independent, and don’t want to admit they need help or are struggling. But the reality is everyone needs help at some point, and it’s better to get the help you need, rather than trying to struggle on alone. Aged care staff are trained to assist you in meeting your needs, and you will probably find life a lot more comfortable, easy and pleasant in an aged care facility where you can get the help you need. Being reliant on others sometimes is not a bad thing – and when you really need help, it can be a true blessing.
I’ll lose my independence
It’s common to fear a loss of independence and the ability to make your own decisions. However, a move into aged care may actually improve independence by providing people with the tools and assistance they need to live life to its fullest. Aged care residents will still have plenty of choices to make, and are free to participate in activities and social life to whatever degree they choose. Aged care communities encourage and support older people to live as independent a life as possible, while providing them with the help they need to do just that.
I don’t want to leave my home
It can be an anxious thought to leave the home you’ve lived in for years, and move away from the comfort and familiarity of your own space. And there’s no doubt that moving can create a lot of upheaval and work. But you can choose an aged care facility in the same community where you live, so that you can maintain contact with friends and family, as well as your regular doctor, dentist, health professionals etc. Make the transition easier by visiting your facility before you move in so you can become more comfortable with the setting and environment. And it will also help to keep as many of your previous habit as possible – such as your hobbies, your exercise routine, your daily habits etc. – to help make your new lifestyle more familiar and comfortable. Seek assistance with the physical move and packing, and keep in contact with your old friends and neighbours where possible. You’ll soon find yourself adapting and settling in quicker than you might think.
I’ll have no purpose in life
No one wants to sit around watching TV all day and feeling directionless and purposeless. But a move into aged care doesn’t mean the end of your useful and purposeful life. Without the burden of household chores and self-care, you’ll actually have more time and energy to spend on what you enjoy, to give back to the community, to take up a new sport or hobby, or just to socialise with family and friends. Plus, you’ll have aged care staff on hand to help you achieve your goals. Your purpose is up to you – you certainly don’t need to sit around just marking time.
Aged care facilities these days are comfortable, positive, cheerful, friendly and convenient places for people to enjoy life and age well. While it’s understandable to have worries, they’re unfounded more often than not, and life in aged care can be a wonderfully positive experience that will enhance your quality of life. To speak to someone at Finley Regional Care about how we can make your transition to aged care living easy, positive and comfortable, get in contact here: (02) 5504 6508.
Click here to read about what an aged care facility will take away from you – and why you’ll be glad it did.