When you hear the word retirement, what images come to mind? For many people, traveling is a top priority. For others, they may want the flexibility to spend winter months in the southern part of the country and summer months in northern states. Others want to spend time with children and grandchildren and explore new hobbies.
When most people think about planning ahead for retirement, they look at it from a financial perspective. Obviously, you need to have money to pay for rent or a mortgage, food and other necessary expenses. What about your plans for where you’ll live and your healthcare needs in retirement?
Research from the University of Michigan, the National Poll on Healthy Aging, found that nearly 90% of adults felt it is important to age in place or remain in their homes for as long as possible. While remaining independent and living at home in retirement is desired, having support to manage declines in health, mobility and cognitive function is critical. Family members, who often become caregivers to ill or aging parents or other relatives, provide much of the needed support. However, these caregivers, often women, are playing double or triple duty, also caring for their own spouses and children as well as working outside the home.
It’s important to consider community resources that can add more layers of support to help you remain at home for as long as possible.
The value of an adult day program
As we age, it’s common to have some cognitive changes. However, when cognitive changes become more serious, living independently can become an issue. One program that can help you or a family member remain independent is an adult day program. Like the name suggests, an adult day program offers engaging activities, interaction with other adults experiencing short-term memory loss, meals and more during the day in a safe environment.
The Adult Day Center at MemoryLane Care Services provides valuable support to older adults and adults living with short-term memory loss or other dementia and their family caregivers. Program participants receive vital cognitive enrichment and socialization they may not receive during the day at home, especially if they are alone. Family caregivers receive needed reprieve from their caregiving duties.
Participation in an adult day program has been shown to create a needed routine, alleviate loneliness and promote a sense of independence.
“Our adult day program is a health model, which means we provide activities for physical and mental stimulation and socialization as well as nursing and personal care in a safe, friendly environment that feels like a home away from home,” said Salli Bollin, executive director of MemoryLane Care Services.
Care coaching is a lifeline for caregivers
As you age, you’ll likely become a caregiver for a parent, spouse or other family member or friend. MemoryLane Care Service’s Care Coaching program provides personalized support to guide caregivers. The coaches, who are licensed social workers, help to identify issues, address concerns, connect caregivers and their loved ones to community resources and offer one-on-one ongoing support.
“We understand the challenges that come with caring for an aging or ill family member,” said Lyndi Wyrostek, social worker with the Care Coaching program at MemoryLane. “We work with caregivers to understand their needs and develop a customized action plan that addresses those needs and helps them become more confident caregivers.”
Vickie Rankin-Anderson, who cares for her husband, Larry, says the availability of resources, like the Care Coaching program, is a blessing for her. She relies on the program to help her care for her husband, who lives with mild cognitive impairment. “I have access to folks who are experts in the field. And I can call them anytime,” she said. “They’re wonderful coaches. It’s like a warm security blanket for me.”
As you plan for your needs in retirement, be sure to explore services, such as adult day programs and caregiver support, that will help you as you care for an aging parent or relative. For more information about our programs, call our office at 419-720-4940 or contact us via our website.