Working with the community... for a healthier community.

How Will You Decide?


Submitted by Luther Oaks Retirement Community

Luther Oaks and Healthy Cells Magazine are proud to bring you the second article in a series from noted author, speaker, and consultant, Randalynn Kaye. These articles are designed to help adult children and their senior parents navigate the emotionally charged process of making a lifestyle change as they transition from one stage of life to the next.

Everyone makes their decision about senior housing lifestyles differently, and each situation is unique. However, senior housing professionals have come to recognize four main types of consumer.

The advance planner
This is the person who starts their research early, taking their time to become an educated consumer and exploring all the options that are available. Usually, this type of person is not afraid of the tough questions, willing to discuss end-of-life issues, and engage in deep, meaningful conversations with loved ones. The advance planner is the one who makes a move before they have to and stays in control of the process.

The reluctant consumer
This person is somewhat reluctantly pulled into the research process by their spouse or adult children. They really don’t want to have to face the idea of making changes in their lives, but grudgingly participate in the process.

The wake-up call
This is the person who finally concedes to make a move after a near-crisis, when the health challenge cannot be denied any longer and a change must happen. If the person is fortunate, they may still be capable of functioning in an independent living community.

The scrambler
This is the person who suffers a more serious health challenge that necessitates an immediate move. It usually involves family making all the choices because the older adult can no longer handle processing the options or changes. Most times, it involves moving directly into assisted living or skilled nursing care.

Unfortunately, sometimes seniors choose to put their head in the sand and play ostrich about their aging process, thinking they are staying in control of their lives, when the reality is just the opposite. Then, when a crisis occurs, someone else will have to scramble around and make the decision for them as to where they will live and who will care for them. The wonderful thing is we are all “at choice” in life and each person can choose how they want to approach this aspect of their journey. So, the question to ask yourself or your loved ones is, how will you decide?

Key points to remember

  • Most people make a change for one of three common reasons: they experience a health-related wake-up call, they have difficulty maintaining their current home, or they have a desire to be closer to family and friends.
  • When contemplating a change, people are usually most concerned with three questions: What happens if I get sick? What quality of services do I hope to receive? Do I have enough money to last me the rest of my life?

Next month:  Available options for senior living.

Randalynn Kaye has worked with and counseled hundreds of people researching various senior lifestyle options. She is actively involved with the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging and Life Services Network as well as the Assisted Living Federation of America. She is regularly interviewed for her expertise on issues facing today’s seniors and their families and has been featured as a senior specialist in major media.

For a complimentary lunch and tour, please call  Luther Oaks Retirement Community at 309-557-8000.