If you Google “stress” you will instantly see millions of articles, tips and horror stories about stress. We all have stress, some more than others. Depending on your age it could be stress about final exams, child-rearing, career and eventually caring for a spouse or partner.
I’d like to focus on the latter, which is called “caregiver stress” or “caregiver burnout.” As couples age, one half of the couple tends to need care or help first, which means the “well” spouse becomes the caregiver. This also means the well spouse picks up the slack around the house and before long, their own mental and physical health begins to suffer. If the couple is lucky enough to have supportive friends and family around they can offer a helping hand but that usually is short-lived as everyone has a life of their own and adult children are typically working and taking care of their own children.
Enter “burnout.” Many couples inquiring about Meadowood are either entering the crisis stage or are in full crisis mode. Their family is upset and worried, they are exhausted and what should be an exciting time, deciding to move to a Life Plan Community, becomes an emergency and highly stressful time. Sometimes the couple has waited too long and the ailing spouse has to move directly to personal care, assisted living or nursing care. This leaves the well spouse feeling guilty and not able to truly enjoy and benefit from life in the community.
There are a lot of reasons people delay a move. Obstacle: The thought of downsizing can be overwhelming. Fact: There are many companies that assist people in downsizing. It also gets harder the longer you wait! Obstacle: Many people have lived in their home for decades and become emotional about leaving their home. Fact: Your home is where your memories and precious mementos reside, not the bricks and mortar. Listen to what our residents have to say. Obstacle: There is also the fear of the unknown. Will I make friends? Will I be happy in a community? Fact: Meadowood has a reputation for being warm and friendly. You will notice that the moment you step through our door.
Ideally a move to a Life Plan Community should happen prior to any health emergencies. Start planning early, at least a year or two before you plan to move. If you find that the upkeep of your home is becoming overwhelming or you are looking for more social opportunities, start planning your move now. If you ask any of our residents when the right time to make a move to Meadowood they will tell you, “NOW!” Move when you can enjoy the community, form friendships and a sense of community so if there is a health emergency in the future, you know you are in a place that will care for you and help you to maintain your independence.