My Wife and I Have Moved To A Life-Plan Retirement Community

My last post on the Robust Retirement blog was over six months ago. 2023 was a challenging year for my wife, Carol, and me. We each had to deal with serious health issues, while also serving as each other’s primary care giver. In the fall of 2023, we decided we should move to a senior housing community.

Why We Moved

We moved primarily because Carol and I wanted to reduce the burden of being each other’s primary care giver should one of us again face health care challenges. We also did not want our relocation and care to become a burden on our close relatives in the Baltimore-Washington area: our son and daughter-in-law who both work and are raising our 2+ year old grandson, and Carol’s sister, who is single and recently retired. Carol’s sister was a tremendous help to us while Carol was being treated in 2023 and early 2024 but she also has a life of her own in the Washington area.

Why We Moved

We Wanted a Community that offered:

  1. A stimulating environment.
  2. Easy access to exercise, wellness, and cultural activities.
  3. Housing and care services that will adjust to our needs as we age.
  4. Access to medical care (within a reasonable distance of our existing care teams, in-house physician care, a health center with skilled nursing care, physical and occupational therapy, and transportation to medical appointments.

Selecting a senior housing community for yourself, your spouse, a close friend or relative is full of emotions – anxiety about you and your loved one’s health, periods of sadness, or even depression, as you are forced to recognize physical or mental limitations of your own or your partner’s. Exploration and evaluation of potential communities is often further complicated when one person in the process (husband and wife or partner, mother and child, or senior and close friend) is more reluctant to move than the other.

Carol and I discussed moving to a senior housing community several times. She had seen different communities where we had friends living, and when she sometimes joined me at industry conferences. But she remained unenthusiastic, and somewhat sad, about us moving to a senior housing community throughout our community selection and moving process.

Downsizing your household space by a 1/3rd, 1/2, or more, Is hard. Many seniors have lived in the same house for 20 – 50 years (we were 18 years in our condo). I don’t consider myself to be very sentimental about things. I have enough experience in senior housing to appreciate the benefits a well-operated community provides to its residents, and that an overwhelming majority of senior housing residents are happy they moved to a community after they settle in. But it is still difficult to sort through and discard long held possessions, some with special memories.

In coming blogs, I will discuss our experience selecting a Life-Plan Community, selling our condo, donating, recycling or disposing of furniture and household items, moving and adapting to life at Roland Park Place in Baltimore. Please send questions you have about the selection, moving and living in a senior housing community to help me shape future posts.