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Moving To A Retirement Community Opens Up A Whole New World

January 19, 2022

Being the “new kid” can bring some challenges, but it also presents all kinds of opportunities — especially when you’re the new kid in a warm and inviting community like Emerald Heights.

Think back to when you were in school. Do you remember when a new student showed up? Or maybe you were the new student. Eventually, the new student (or you) found a group of friends with similar interests or shared activities and settled in, right?

The same is true when moving to a retirement community, only the “settling in” process tends to happen much quicker and smoother. Why? For one reason, virtually everyone in the community will be happy to welcome you into the fold. For another, by the time we reach our sixties and seventies, there’s really no need to “prove” ourselves as we did in our adolescence.  We know who we are and the type of people we want to have around us.

Where All Can Feel At Home

Our personality type often influences how we adapt to new situations and unfamiliar surroundings:

  • Those who are introverted, or more quiet, may find it slightly awkward at first when they’re around people they don’t know.
  • More gregarious types, on the other hand, typically thrive when given the chance to make new acquaintances.
  • Sometimes, it’s a surprise. Friends and family members may be delighted to see their normally shy, reserved loved one blossom within a short time of moving into the community. We’ve seen this happen time and time again.

So, what is it about moving to a retirement community that seems to help all newcomers feel at ease in their new environment?

We alluded to part of the answer to that question when we mentioned how welcoming the established residents and the staff are. Knowing that everyone around you is supportive and wants you to succeed can make a huge difference.

But it goes beyond that.

For many new residents, the peace of mind they now have is a tremendous boost. They can feel confident about being in a secure environment, where safeguards have been put in place to protect their safety and security. In addition, there’s the security of knowing that, as a Life Care community, we provide guaranteed access to advanced levels of care, should that become necessary down the road.

Another factor is the newfound time residents have to explore or delve back into hobbies, recreational pursuits and educational opportunities. Now that they no longer have to devote their time to endless household chores and home maintenance projects, there’s more time to do as they please.

Still, there’s an even more obvious reason that people flourish after moving to a retirement community: the myriad opportunities available for engaging with others and finding new activities they enjoy.

In last month’s blog post, we wrote about how volunteering can help build camaraderie and prevent a sense of isolation. That’s also true of the other activities at Emerald Heights. In fact, it’s true of just living here.

Older adults who remain in their homes might find it difficult to interact with other people, for logistical reasons if nothing else. But here, it’s easy to participate in a whole host of events, activities, clubs and resident-led committees. Moreover, connecting with a friend is as simple as venturing into the Emerald Market or the Coffee Shop.  

Rolling Out The Welcome Mat

People considering a move to Emerald Heights often ask about how the process unfolds and what happens after they move in. We’ll take this opportunity to answer some of the most common questions we hear.

  1. How is my move-in date determined?
    We work with you to help plan the timing of your move so that it will be as convenient as possible. We take into account whether you’ll need to sell your home before you move, or if a move-in before the home sale is preferred.

  • Will I receive help to coordinate the moving process?
    Absolutely! Over the years, we’ve built a network of reliable resources to assist future residents with their needs. We can connect you with experts who can assist you with “right-sizing” your belongings, prepping your home for the market and taking care of the actual move itself.

  • Can my friends and family come visit me after I move?
    Most assuredly yes. Not only are they welcome to come visit, but they can also join in the fun if there happens to be an event or activity going on while they’re here.

  • Will I be required to take part in the community events?
    No. Whether you participate is entirely up to you. But we think that once you get here and see how much fun everyone has, you’ll want to be part of the action.

  • How will my lifestyle or routine change?
    Again, this is your call. Naturally, there will be some changes, like having new resources right here within your immediate neighborhood (dining venues, a fully-equipped fitness center, an indoor swimming pool, game rooms, a creative arts studio and a full-service salon, spa and barbershop, to mention a few). Moving to a retirement community like Emerald Heights will only enhance the active lifestyle you already love.  

  • How will I meet other residents?
    Ours is such a friendly community that you’ll probably meet other residents even before you move in, when you come to take a tour. Once you’re here, we’ll pair you with a nearby neighbor who will gladly help you learn your way around the campus and introduce you to the rest of the community. You can spend as much time on your own as you like, but you never have to “go it alone.”

Specifically For New Residents At Emerald Heights

We know that even considering a change like this can seem overwhelming at first. It’s typically true that change becomes more difficult as we get older.

Know that we have been welcoming new residents into our community for 30 years. In that time, we’ve learned what concerns future and new residents the most.

Accordingly, we’ve created a series of new resident meetings, many led by senior-level staff members, to address any questions and concerns that may arise during the first month or so after a new resident joins us:

  • Health services review. Our Health Services Administrator leads this meeting to ensure that new residents know how to use the emergency notification system and are familiar with the health services available here at Emerald Heights.
  • Resident services review. The Director of Resident Services meets with residents who’ve recently moved to our community to make sure they’re aware of the many services they can take advantage of right here on campus.
  • Dining services review. New residents can learn all about Emerald Heights’ dining amenities at this meeting, including dietitian services and catering.
  • Facilities review. If new residents want more information about the laundry and housekeeping schedule or how to request maintenance for their home, this meeting is designed to answer those questions.
  • Marketing and accounting reviews. Held separately, these meetings are intended to introduce new residents to the marketing and accounting staff members and answer questions about topics such as set-aside requirements, options for paying the monthly fees and medical tax deductions.
  • Final review. After new residents have had a couple of months to settle in and become familiar with their new home, we schedule a meeting between them and Grant Linacre, our Executive Director. It’s an opportunity for Grant to address any remaining questions a new resident might have and resolve any outstanding issues there may be.

In addition to giving new residents ample chances to get information they can use to ease their transition into the community, these new resident meetings offer another benefit. At the group meetings, everyone who is new to Emerald Heights can meet and mingle with one another. The meetings are low-key opportunities for new residents to form friendships based on a common situation: being the “new kids on the block.”

Ready To Begin Exploring Your New World?

We offer several ways for you to get to know us. You can join us for an upcoming event or schedule a lunch and a tour of our community. Another option is to take a virtual tour using our interactive campus map.

You can also contact us for answers to questions you might have or to request more information about Emerald Heights.

Whenever you’re ready, we’re here to help you decide if our community is the right choice for you.

January 19, 2022 – Emerald Heights has kept safety at the forefront of welcoming new residents into our community for the past 30 years, and even more so now as we have navigated the Covid-19 Pandemic. We have remained vigilant in following and adhering to CDC guidelines for masking and social distancing, and all new resident orientation opportunities are now offered virtually as a safe alternative for new residents.