The reasons why individuals decide to move into a senior living community are as different as the people themselves. Their personalities and experiences also inform why they choose one senior community over another.
For Donna Peak, a resident at Masonic Homes of Kentucky’s Miralea independent living, seeing her father deal with Alzheimer’s disease played a major role when it came time to make a decision about her own future.
With her two siblings, Donna had to navigate how to best care for their father. “We ended up moving him three times because we were always trying to find the level of care he needed,” she says. When his needs changed, he would have to be moved, sometimes on short notice which was extremely stressful. While her dad passed away in 2010, the experience really impacted Donna and made her latch onto the continuum of care concept, which she learned about in late 2017. “If that was available for Dad, he could have moved into one place and then been moved to different levels of care as professionals recognized that need,” she says.
Donna began attending marketing events to begin what she intended as a many years-long process of deciding on a community and then eventually moving in. She thought she would move at age 80. However, in December 2019, she thought, “What am I waiting for?” At 74, she decided she was tired of living by herself. Even though she had long been a homeowner and proud to be independent, she ultimately determined that she wanted more socialization. “The socialization is what really drew me to make the move when I did. Anything I wanted to do I was having to reach out. You have to initiate your own activities whereas here there are planned activities and you just walk down and join in,” she says. “I’m not alone here.”
By Carrie Vittitoe