Seniors Outreach - August 7, 2019

As older Canadians, we need to think about the future in some very distinct ways – particularly with regards to what our housing will look like. As we all recognize, “we’re not getting any younger!”

Most of us don’t necessarily plan to move and tend to hang on to where we are at presently as long as possible. The unfortunate truth is that many times it is a crisis that brings us to those words we don’t wish to hear – “you can’t go back there anymore.” Now what?

True to ourselves we may not understand the medical crisis that we are in, nor do we necessarily understand why we cannot simply ‘get better’ and keep doing what we were doing. On the other hand, perhaps we simply give in to a notion that “others, family, etc.” will have to look out for us. Most of us don’t try to do these things, yet some forethought as what our future could look like in terms of housing is always a positive step. The following insights will hopefully be helpful to set the tone for your next steps in the future:

WHAT IS AVAILABLE? Look around the community and area to find out what is open to you. Whether it is a lodge or some other independent living situation; a supportive or assisted living situation if and when you are in need of some medical and medication attention, all meals, mobility support, planned supports and help, etc.; and long term living situations where total care is available.

WHAT SIZE OF ROOM, ACCEPTANCE PARAMETERS AND SERVICES ARE THERE? In all of these accommodations the space available in a room (downsizing- here we come!); time to be accepted into the facility (how far ahead do I need to apply and what procedures are in place to be accepted into the facility?); and what services are provided (What meals are available? What medical staffing is active? What other services are available?) will all need to be addressed.

WHAT IS AVAILABLE NEARBY? Perhaps a chart of the facilities, locations, services, and proximity to one’s doctor, dentist, hospital, banking, etc. would be helpful at this stage.

WHAT ARE THE COSTS? In all of this activity, what often is the disconcerting factor may be the cost of the rental or leasing of a room in the facility. Here your financial situation comes strongly into play. Financial planning and family interactions are probably very important in this discussion and research.

Other than these areas, one should also look into:

TRANSPORTATION: Do you drive? How long will that go on? What options are open to you and have you worked out or looked into future support? Some of us will be able to go on driving for a number of years, for others this may be a shortened time frame. What else is available? (e.g. Busing, Seniors Outreach Caring Cars, Friends or Family travel, Walking distance, etc.)

LENGTH OF LIFE: Life expectancy has gone up and retirement has at times lengthened. Since the 1960’s when Pensions were usually only good for a few years since life expectancy was often in the early 70’s, today it is often not unheard of to have many living into their 80’s, 90’s and early 100’s. That puts our retirement time anywhere into the 25-40 year range. The need for changes in housing, health and wellness and financial support, therefore become extremely important.

SOCIAL & PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: What may I become involved in and who will be available to interact with in order to promote strong physical health, mental health and wellbeing.

Despite, the lengthened time frame, it is always important to take stock of things for our future. As we age, we are no less important in our communities and area that we live in, so it is helpful to find a strong understanding of steps in our future beyond retirement.

Connect with us at Seniors Outreach (403-443-2555 or toll free from the Carbon area at 1-888-443-2555) if we can be of assistance to you in any service or volunteer areas.

Upcoming Bus Trips:

Weekly Bus Route — Each Tuesday and Thursday from 1:15 -3:30 pm around the Three Hills Community.

Red Deer Monthly Bus Trip — Wednesday, August 21, 2019. (Appointments/Shopping/etc.) Please call Seniors Outreach ahead of time to book your space on the bus at 403-443-2555 or toll free from Carbon at 1-888-443-2555 during office hours (Monday-Thursday 9am-4pm).

Spruce Meadows “Masters” (Equestrian Show Jumping) — Friday, September 6th 2019. Please contact Seniors Outreach, providing your name and telephone number if you are interested in going on this trip. You can contact our main office at 403-443-2555 or toll free from Carbon at 1-888-443-2555 during office hours (Monday-Thursday 9am-4pm).

Volunteer Opportunities:

We are looking for drivers for caring cars in various communities, volunteer bus drivers and some volunteers in other areas of support for seniors. Please speak us should you have some time to become involved in supporting seniors in Kneehill County.