Peach Tree Times
Some of our articles have been written by guest writers
Peach Tree Times
Independent retirement can provide a much-needed change of pace for many seniors and older adults. Here are a few of the benefits of moving to an independent living community.
At an independent retirement community like Peach Tree, you aren't responsible for any of your home maintenance. Do you hate mowing the lawn? You don't have to! Is your faucet leaking? You don't have to fix it yourself. The staff also handles things like shoveling snow, cleaning gutters, raking leaves, and trimming trees.
Meals cooked for you
Grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning up can take a ton of time out of your day. At Peach Tree, all of that is taken care of for you! You'll get three home-style meals every day, and we even wash the dishes.
More time for hobbies
With all the time you save by not having to do maintenance, cooking, or cleaning, you'll have more time to explore your interests. Always thought about picking up a particular hobby, but never had the time before? Now you can!
Instead of paying for everything separately, (such as rent, garbage, water, and power), all of it is included in one payment. You won't have to worry about keeping track of as many bills, saving you time and energy.
Amenities & Conveniences
A variety of amenities are a part of living at Peach Tree. Feel the burn in the exercise room, or find a new book in the library in our activities room. Get fresh fruit from our mini orchard or just spend time walking around our beautiful property.
Safety & Security
With staff members on-site 24/7 and emergency alarms in every apartment, you'll have peace of mind. Independent retirement communities are built with seniors in mind. Things like grab bars, emergency pull strings, and wellness checks are standard, so you won't have to worry about your safety.
With so many neighbors, you're certain to find new friends. Whether it's hanging out in the dining room after a meal, or drinking lemonade and chatting with your neighbors on the porch, there's plenty of opportunities to expand your social circle.
When touring senior communities, it might feel like you're getting somewhat of a sales pitch during your visit. The staff may be incredibly truthful, but they certainly have a little bias towards their community. Talking to residents can give you a good idea of the day-to-day life in a particular community, and can let you know if there are any major issues or complaints.
Questions to Start the Conversation
There are many myths surrounding independent living communities. With so many different options, you may be exposed to outdated information about independent living. At Peach Tree, we know firsthand that an independent retirement community is an amazing way to spend your retirement years.
Myth: You'll lose your independence.
Truth: Independent retirement communities like Peach Tree are designed for people who don't require much assistance in their daily life. As a resident, you're able to enjoy your hobbies and active lifestyle, while we take care of things like meals and home maintenance.
Myth: You can't keep your pets.
Truth: We adore your furry friends and would love to welcome them into our community alongside you! At Peach Tree, we know that owning a pet can be good for your health. Many of our residents are enjoying their life alongside their beloved pets.
Myth: Independent living is lonely.
Truth: While you might be moving farther away from your friends and family, they are always welcome to come and visit you, and you are free to come and go as you please. At Peach Tree, you can make new friends with your neighbors. We like to think of ourselves as one big Peachy Family.
Myth: You're too young to move to a retirement community.
Truth: It's never too early or late to start planning for your future. Independent living allows you to be free from home maintenance, cooking, and other household chores. You're young enough to live here!
Myth: Independent living won't feel like home.
Truth: Independent retirement offers multiple housing options. You get to bring your own furniture and decorations so you can really make your new place feel like home.
Myth: Meals are plain and unappetizing at independent living facilities.
Truth: At Peach Tree Retirement Center, we provide three home-style meals each day in our dining room. We encourage our residents to give us their favorite recipes. From bacon-wrapped meatloaf and honey garlic pork chops to tacos and shrimp alfredo, there's bound to be something you'll be looking forward to.
When it comes to selecting an independent retirement community, don't fall prey to falsehoods when the truth is better than you think! Enjoy your retirement with the stress-free living of a retirement community like Peach Tree. To schedule or tour or get more information, contact us today!
When a loved one is getting ready to move to a senior community, it's important to know who will care for them. Building a relationship with the staff at your loved one's retirement community is a great way to stay connected and involved in their life.
Introduce yourself. Make it a point to introduce yourself to staff members and other residents when you're helping your loved one move in. Encourage the team members to keep in touch with you and to let you know if your family member needs something or if something changes that you need to know about.
Help the staff get to know your loved one. By visiting regularly, you have the opportunity to help the staff learn more about your loved one. Encourage your family member to share their history or talk about their hobbies.
Show interest in the team members. Don't make all of the conversations about your loved one. Showing a genuine interest in the staff members will help create connections. This can help both of you work towards your loved one's best interests.
Get involved in the community. Most retirement communities welcome family involvement. Volunteering can be a great way to build relationships with the staff and other residents.
Follow social media. Pictures that are posted can give you something to discuss when you visit your loved one.
Give a positive review. Social media is important. It may have been one of the ways you found your community. Help others find their future home by leaving a positive review on social media or other sites. It doesn't take very much time to leave a review, and it helps boost awareness of the community.
The senior living conversation can be a difficult one, but going about it the right way can make it a little easier. Whether they just need a little help around the house or are ready to move to a retirement community, talking about it can help your loved ones get more out of life.
Before the Conversation
Make a list of concerns. Are your loved ones having difficulties in their daily life? Are you concerned about how safe their home is? Do they need help with the activities of daily life? You may need to talk to other friends and family members to get their perspectives.
Do your research. Most people have more difficulty with an abstract conversation. A few concrete examples and options can be less stressful and anxiety-inducing than a mountain of options.
Tips for a Better Conversation
Have the conversation early. Tackling the decision early will take some of the stress and pressure off if something happens, such as a fall or illness. Having the conversation before it's needed will allow you and your loved one time to process information and really consider what is best.
Talk face to face. Phone calls are great, but they can't replace a face-to-face discussion. If talking in person isn't possible, arrange a video call so you can see each other during the discussion.
Listen. Your loved one may have concerns and anxieties about moving out of their home, especially if they have lived there a long time. It's important to acknowledge their feelings. Take the time to really listen to what they are saying. A point that seems irrelevant to the conversation may actually be showing a concern you weren't aware of.
Empathy, not sympathy. Don't feel sorry for them, but show them that you care. Don't be combative - ask them for their thoughts instead of talking over them. It's both of you against the problem, not you against them.
Avoid info overload. Some background information can be helpful, but receiving tons of information can be overwhelming.
Take your time. The decision most likely won't be made in one conversation. Your loved one may need additional time to sort through their feelings and find the words to describe them. It's a process, not a one-and-done discussion.
Visit in person. One of the best ways to see what a community is like is by visiting in person. This allows you and your loved one to get an idea of the kinds of amenities, culture, lifestyle, and neighbors that they may have.
As with many difficult topics, starting the conversation can be the most difficult part. These conversation starters may be useful:
What's it like to be alone in your house? Do you feel safe?
Do you have a long-term care strategy in mind? Where would you go if you fell or became ill and couldn't care for yourself? How would you pay for your care?
Do you have times when you're feeling lonely? Do you wish you had more time to spend with people your own age?
How's the car? Are you still going on drives?
How do you feel about driving? Would you be interested in other transportation forms where you don't have to worry about driving yourself places, traffic, parking, and paying for car maintenance and gas?
Is it ever hard to keep track of your bills or finances?
Have you ever considered getting some help with laundry and housekeeping?
How's the house? It must be hard to keep it in good shape.
Would you feel better if you didn't have to worry about house maintenance?
Starting the search for a retirement community can be a daunting task. There are so many facilities, and each one offers different things at a different price. It's hard to know where to start.
Know what you need
What kinds of services and support do you need? Making a list of these items can help determine your budget and narrow down your choices.
How much you can spend per month puts a limit on where you might be able to live. Many of your current expenses may be included in your rent at a retirement facility. Don't overlook any resources or benefits (like those for veterans) that might help you pay for your senior living community.
Do you want to be located near anything specific, like parks or shopping centers? Near friends and family? Would you prefer to be close to the city center or out in the country?
What's non-negotiable, and what "would be nice"? You should make a list of all the "must-haves", such as being pet friendly and having transportation provided. You should also make a wishlist of all the things you would like to have, but aren't necessarily deal-breakers. This may be things like being all on one level or having a hair salon on site.
A community's website will tell you a lot about it. You should also look at 3rd party sites - these will give you reviews, but their information may not be up to date. Additionally, look at social media sites like Facebook and Instagram to get an alternate view of the community.
Does someone you know live in a senior community? Other people you know may have already done some research. Ask them what places they recommend. What places should you avoid?
Call or email first.
You can shorten a long list by asking questions before taking the time to visit somewhere in person.
Visit in person.
An in-person visit is vital to making an informed decision. Bring a friend with you, ask questions, and take notes. Does it feel like somewhere you could call home?
Trying to decide which senior community is right for you or your loved one can be a daunting task. It's important to know all of the details about each facility so you can make the right decision.
Here are a few questions to ask the staff when touring a senior living community.
What living options are there?
Most senior communities offer a range of apartment sizes, locations, and layouts. You should ask about how much privacy there is, what kinds of items you can or cannot bring, and what limitations there are on visitors.
Consider where in the community you'll be happiest. Do you want to be in the center of the action or in a quieter part of the building? Can the staff provide a floor plan of your potential apartment? If so, this can help you determine which of your possessions will fit in the apartment.
You should also ask what utilities are included in the rent. Is cable included? What about Wi-Fi? You might want to know if you will be sharing Wi-Fi with the whole community and visitors or if there are separate networks.
What activities are offered?
Many seniors chose to move to a retirement community because they're starting to feel isolated in their homes. What kinds of activities are available? Are there any eligibility requirements for these activities? When are activities offered?
How do you keep residents safe?
It's important to know what a community does to ensure the safety of you or your loved one.
Ask questions such as:
Are there emergency pull cords in rooms?
What kinds of things are there to make the bathroom safer (grab bars, non-slip surfaces, rails, walk-in tubs, etc.)?
What happens if there is a medical emergency? Is staff available 24/7?
Are fire drills performed regularly?
How do you know if residents are accounted for?
Can residents request safety checks?
What happens if a resident has a complaint?
No community is perfect, so it's important to have ways to encourage and address feedback from residents, families, and staff. Who does a resident talk to if they have a concern?
Is there transportation?
Many communities offer some form of transportation. Is transportation included in rent or is it a separate charge? When is transportation offered? Does it include the places you personally want to visit? If you still drive yourself, ask about the parking situation. Do you have to pay for a parking spot? Where is parking located?
What are the meal options?
When are meals served? Is it cook-to-order or cafeteria-style? What kinds of food get served? Ask if you can get a copy of the menu. What happens if a resident doesn't like what is on the menu for that meal? How do they handle allergies? Do residents have assigned seats or do they choose where to sit?
Are pets allowed?
Many senior living communities are pet-friendly, but not all. If you have a pet, it's important to know whether or not they will be able to be with you when you move.
How much does it cost?
Many people feel awkward or rude when talking about money, but it's an important factor in the decision. Once you've determined a particular community is high on your list of choices, you should ask for a cost breakdown.
Some things to consider:
What's the base price per month/year?
Will the cost change over time?
What amenities are included in the base price? What add-ons do you have to pay for and how much do they cost?
How does the community communicate with residents and their families?
Ask what the community does to keep you and your family in the loop. What social media platforms do they use? Do they send out announcements via email? Is there a weekly or monthly newsletter or email list? How do residents give their input on potential changes?
How is the transition to the community made easier? Is there a welcoming committee or resident orientation?
How does the staff know who to call when something happens? Can you designate a family member as a contact person?
Choosing a senior living community can be a difficult decision. Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as you need. By asking a bunch of questions, you are better equipped to choose the right retirement community for you or your loved one.
Moving can be challenging, exciting, and exhausting at any age, and, when you're an older adult there are some additional things you have to consider. Whether you're moving into a retirement community, assisted living facility, or simply downsizing, you'll want to make it as easy of a process as possible.
When is it time to downsize?
Knowing when it's time to downsize can be difficult, but there are a few tips and guidelines.
Packing and moving can be physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. Ease the pain by starting early and giving yourself plenty of time to go through your belongings and make choices. By giving yourself extra time, you make it easier to determine which items you want to keep and what you want to do with the rest, whether it's donating, selling, or discarding.
Reduce your belongings
Moving from a large home to a smaller one calls for reducing your possessions to some degree. Reducing your belongings doesn't mean getting rid of things you love - it just means keeping the things you find useful or meaningful. Start by donating or selling clothes, furniture, and other possessions that you no longer need.
If you're having trouble getting rid of something, look for these signs:
Moving can be overwhelming, especially when you have lived in one place for many years. But, a move can be a great opportunity for positive changes, such as meeting new people and fostering new hobbies. Keep a positive attitude and your move will usually go smoother.
Follow a sorting system when going through your belongings. You could use different bins for donate, sell, and give away, as well as a list of who is getting which items.
Start with large items and work your way towards smaller ones. Going through larger furniture pieces first will help build momentum for smaller items such as clothes and books. It will also help you to be realistic about what you keep, as you'll know how much storage space you'll have in your new space.
Focus on one space at a time. Not only will this help when it comes to unpacking your boxes, but it will also help keep you from being overwhelmed by trying to pack your entire house at once.
Start in the parts of your home that don't see as much use, such as a guest bedroom. This will be less disruptive to your daily life.
Day 1 Box
Have a specific box or suitcase that has all of the items you'll need for your first few days. It should have a few changes of clothes, some dishes, towels, sheets, and any toiletries you'll need within the first few days. This will keep the things you need where you can find them, saving you from digging through boxes to find what you need.
Moving into a senior community can feel a bit like the first day at a new school. You're new and might not know anyone there yet, while others in the community have pre-established friendships. It's normal to be nervous.
Retirement communities often have a variety of scheduled activities and events. Find a few that interest you and prioritize going to them. Whether it's painting, exercise, bird watching, or a coffee social, you're sure to find someone who shares your interests.
In many communities, mealtimes are the time of day where you see the majority of the residents. Use mealtimes as a time to get to know your fellow residents. Invite people you meet during the day to sit down and share a meal with you.
Get to Know the Staff
Having staff members that you know and trust has multiple benefits. You'll likely be seeing them on a regular basis, and if you have any concerns then you know who you can ask.
Additionally, getting to know the staff can give you more opportunities for friendships with other residents. If a staff member finds out you have a certain hobby, they might introduce you to another resident whom you may not have known that has similar interests.
Keep a Good Attitude
Attitude is everything. If you go into a new situation with a positive outlook you'll be shocked how easy it can be to meet people.
Smile at the people you pass in the hall, or chat by the coffee machine. Take a risk and initiate conversations instead of waiting for others to make the first step. Ask questions, and don't be afraid to talk about yourself. Current residents are as curious about you as you are about them.
Independent retirement offers a housing arrangement specifically for older adults. Many independent living communities offer a variety of activities, services, and amenities, but generally do not provide medical care like an assisted living facility would.
Different independent living communities offer different living arrangements - from studio apartments to single-family homes. Some facilities are multiple buildings with multiple floors. You almost always provide your own furniture and decorations.
At Peach Tree Retirement Center we offer three apartment layouts: studio, one-bedroom, and one-bedroom deluxe. We're also all on one level, so you don't need to worry about stairs.
Activities & Amenities
Because there is such a wide range of independent living communities, there is also a large range in the level of services and amenities they provide. For example, in some retirement communities, meals are an additional charge, while other places include meals in your rent. Some independent communities offer free transportation and others don't.
Peach Tree offers a range of services, such as housekeeping, maintenance, 3 meals a day, and scheduled transportation. We also host activities like crafts, movie nights, and socials.
Why Choose Independent Living?
Independent living allows you to maintain your independence while enjoying your retirement. Living in a retirement community simplifies some of the hassles of daily life, such as cooking, cleaning, and maintaining a house and property.
Independent retirement also helps you strengthen your social connections by providing you with opportunities to make friends with your fellow residents through formal or informal get-togethers.