St. Anthony's Senior Living

When is it Time to Consider a Retirement Home? Three Common Signs and Where to Begin Your Search

Everyday we wake up, it’s important to remind ourselves of a fact: we are children of God. Why is that so pivotal to remind ourselves and those around us of that reality? Simply put, because we so easily forget! AND, the word “children” is integral to who we are at our core. When most people think of the common retirement home, they think of the elderly. Our goal, as staff and leadership at St. Anthony’s, is to remind everyone (always) that our residents are somebody’s child—both biologically and spiritually, the men and women who live at St. Anthony’s are beloved children, and their age is not indicative of the wonderful spirit inside each one of them. With that in mind, we approach a sensitive-yet-necessary topic: when is it time to consider a retirement home?

That question creeps up on us as individuals, children, and parents.

As individuals, we don’t think about that question throughout most of our lives. Then one day, perhaps approaching retirement or after kids have officially flown the coop, thoughts of retirement home living enters the mind. As children—same thing. You don’t think about a retirement home for your parents throughout your childhood or adult life, until one day it just makes sense to find the best care for mom and dad.

And when parents think about their children having a relationship with their grandparents, sometimes it makes the most sense if you know “grandma and grandpa” are in a safe living environment a little closer to home.

For all these reasons that a retirement home makes sense as an appropriate next step, we’d like to dive a little deeper into some triggers on when you should begin your search. Then, we’d like to offer some practical next steps before finding the retirement home for you or someone you love.


Three Signs it Might be Time to Look for a Retirement Home

Although there are many factors to consider when a retirement home seems like the best next step—location, cost, size, cleanliness, etc.—there are a few preceding signs that tell you it’s time to begin the search itself.

Throughout our years of serving the Kansas City Metro area at large, we have interacted with families coming from all sorts of life circumstances that led them to our (physical or virtual) doorstep. “Virtual” in that many of our inquiries begin online—and we’d love to hear from you, too! And “physical” in that many of those inquiries do end in a wonderful new addition to our community. We ALWAYS look forward to welcoming new smiling faces into our community, and if you experience a few of these common signs, please reach out to us today!

1. Worsening Health

This might sound fairly general, but it’s the number one sign to consider when weighing a potential retirement home move.

In regard to “worsening” we often point to recent medical history, and if there’s a consistent pattern of ailments and setbacks. Sometimes these “setbacks” are in the form of physical injury such as falls in or around one’s home, which unfortunately can occur with nobody around to help. With something like a fall, or a series of falls around the home, it is vital to consider how a retirement home and its staff might be able to help in such an instance.

We can’t overstate this enough: worsening health is a natural progression of life. Even the healthiest of lifestyles still end up facing challenges at some point down the line. When you or the one(s) you love show signs of such breakdown, consider putting out feelers to a retirement home or two in your area. As for St. Anthony’s, we’d love to discuss this initial sign with anyone going through such an experience for the first time.

2. Deteriorating Day-to-Day Habits

In a similar vein, daily habits that start to decline or worsen over time is another indicator to reach out for extra assistance—either medically or in the form of a retirement home option.

What do we mean by day-to-day habits? Two rise to the top of what we see every year: 1) Forgetting or neglecting to take daily medicine and 2) poor eating habits and/or nutritional intake.

Advancements in modern medicine, in our humble opinion, are miracles from God. We have seen medicine prolong and strengthen life for so many residents, and sincerely thank the doctors who identify needs and prescribe remedies on a daily basis. Many of those patients become our residents, and we get to walk alongside each one in their health journey. However, before some of our residents enter St. Anthony’s doors, they might have experienced bouts of intentionally OR unintentionally not taking their prescribed medicine. 

And while medicine is one thing, nothing can replace quality nutrition through real food, nutrients, and vitamins. This is another phase we totally understand as appetites can diminish over time, and we often get busy and forget about eating two to three meals a day. In addition to food and medicine, there are other habits that can take a backseat such as personal hygiene, behind-the-wheel driving, home cleanliness, and frequent disorientation. All-in-all, if you are in close community with those experiencing lapses in these kinds of deteriorating habits, don’t let them linger for long.

3. Mood Decrease

Another big sign we talk a lot about with our new families is a change in mood. Mood can affect all aspects of life from social life to aggressive behavior to neglecting pets. There is a wide range of signs you can look for, but if a loved one experiences a continuing shift in mood, over an extended period of time, please consider reaching out to a retirement home. There are a number of benefits on the other side of making that first call or sending that first email, and we’d like to discuss a couple of them while letting you in on a great place to start.


The Power of Community

The previous section on signs to look for seems bleak—to read those words hearkens a sad reality of frailty, forgetfulness, and loneliness.

But that is not where the story has to end.

St. Anthony exists to come alongside anyone who might be experiencing a natural season of life, and usher them into a new era of hope, joy, and community!

That word—”community”—means SO MUCH when matched up with those three signs to look out for. As we can only speak for our retirement home setting:

  • • St. Anthony’s will provide a community for any aging adult who is experiencing worsening health conditions, and the accountability to help them not just heal, but thrive.
  • • St. Anthony’s will provide a community for those struggling with regular habits, and will ensure they’re getting the food, medication, and necessities they need on a daily basis.
  • • St. Anthony’s will provide a community of uplifting staff and residents to ensure your loved ones never feel alone in such a potentially life-giving season.

We know there are many options to choose from when looking for a retirement home. Our hope is that you find quality care for the individuals you love. Because if our “elderly” are as we say they are—children of God—then let’s fill their days with childlike wonder alongside a community who cares.