We all have vivid memories of being 10 years old, looking at our parents and seeing them as old people.
They were perhaps in their early 30’s at the time.
Fast forward five decades and we are now over 60 years old, and they are in their 80’s. As with all of us, we strive for good health with the future in the back of our minds and then age creeps up and takes us by surprise.
The back aches, the joints that pain us, and the ever present “I can’t eat that anymore”.
Time changes all physical things and all we can try and do is not let it overtake our daily lives.
Who among us has thought of our own life in our 80’s? Did our parents ever think or speak about this except to say, “Don’t ever put me in a home.”
Many hours of each day of our professional lives are spent counselling the adult children of parents in their 80’s and 90’s.
There is no plan in place.
The fortunate ones still have a spouse living but more often than not they are alone at home. Family has passed. Friends are gone. Their children have their own lives and they “don’t want to be a burden.”
As adult children of parents in their 80’s and older, it is very easy to find yourself in a caregiver role that is not sustainable, as it takes both a physical and emotional toll. There is also the guilt.
If choices are made while they are of complete sound mind, they can easily transition to a retirement home for independent living. No more cooking and cleaning. No cutting the lawn or shovelling snow.
This becomes their new home. Living a full life and making new friends.
For those who have declined, cognitively, there is an option to still enjoy life in a safe environment, within a secure memory care setting.
Then there is the conversation that concerns the confusion and misconceptions that retirement living is the same as a nursing home also known as long-term care. This topic alone requires a full discussion to describe the difference. Suffice to say they are not the same.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought all this to a crisis management situation.
The parents we thought who could manage just a bit longer at home found themselves often alone and isolated. Unable to still do the smallest of daily activities without some form of assistance.
You can try and negotiate the muddy waters of our health care system, which does have the best of intentions, but falls short of the daily care we would want for our parents.
There are many choices we as adult children have to assist our parents in the next step. One of these is Abbeylawn Retirement in Pickering, Ontario.
Abbeylawn, with a newly constructed addition, joined with a renovated existing building, is now a 127 suite retirement home that can definitely be your choice.
Abbeylawn operates with a talented and caring team who treat each and every resident as extended family. No resident has ever contracted the virus and all residents have had both vaccinations.
Retirement is no longer a destination, it’s now a transition and a journey. It’s more important to think about what you’re retiring TO rather than what you’re retiring FROM.
Please visit www.abbeylawn.ca and then call us. It is our privilege to assist you in this important phase of life, whether you choose Abbeylawn or not. Let us help you.
Roslyn King, Communications Manager
Deirdre Flanagan, Leasing Manager
David Stein, Executive Director