Timing Is Everything: The Best Time to Move into a Retirement Community

Among the many tips and techniques your parents and your instructor shared when you were learning to drive, there was one that didn’t go away or get easier with practice behind the wheel: Your blind spot. Taking an extra few seconds to check on what may be looming – but unseen – in your blind spot is a prudent tip for every driver, and may make the difference between an uneventful trip and a trip to the body shop for your car.

Blind spots sometimes appear off the road as well, and create unwelcome circumstances. In fact, many people – parents and adult children alike – have a blind spot when it comes to the decision to move into a retirement community. Parents are reluctant to make a change in their lifestyle and adult children tend to overlook or downplay the challenges that many seniors face as aging homeowners. The blind spot they have in common: Everything is fine, and nothing will change! How do you see past that to determine when your parents should consider a retirement community? And when is the right time for them to move?

In this case, as in life, timing is everything. Waiting until they’re “ready” may be a pointless exercise because change – even positive change – is rarely sought out by most people. And how do they (or you) define “ready?” Waiting too long, and moving into a retirement community as a result of a health issue may mean that the choices your parents have are limited and not ideal for them. When this happens, in most cases you’ll be the person exploring their options and making the decision for them.

Reluctance to move is not uncommon. People considering retirement communities often justify why they avoid making their decision and their move for a number of reasons:

  • Fear of change
  • Would never move from their family home
  • Not “ready”
  • Financial constraints and belief that retirement communities are too expensive
  • Concerns about downsizing, logistics of moving
  • Desire to be independent
  • Being cut off from family and friends
  • Relying on their children to continue to help
  • Perception of aging and moving in with the “Old Folks”

Unexpected circumstances sometimes force people into reviewing options and changing their long term plans. Even the most independent seniors can suffer a fall or an injury that requires surgery followed by several months of rehab in a care facility. Emerging from that, your Mom or Dad may consider their future living arrangements, and want to find a community that offers them a sense of security and a staff nearby should they need care. They’ll want a place where they can resume and maintain their active lifestyle, but with the support of a community that understands their needs.


Following a health concern, some people enter Moravian Village through a Right Time/respite care apartment. Kristel Seagreaves, Care Manager at Moravian Village, says this option offers residents a place to fully recuperate with ongoing healthcare needs addressed by the staff, and then transition into an apartment when recovery is complete. “It’s a great way to provide the medical care your parent(s) may need while giving them time to acclimate to their new home.”

For many families, there is no event or health issue to prompt a discussion. How do you determine the ideal time for your parents to move into a retirement community? Many residents have found this kind of change is more challenging for a single person and that making the move as a couple helps the transition to a new home and new routine more manageable. Without the stress of a physical, emotional or mental challenges of moving in alone, couples who move into a community define their new lifestyle together. In fact, forming new friendships and creating a new routine that results in a full and active life enables residents to maintain their overall health longer, and thrive in their new environment.

While it’s difficult to determine the “right time,” it’s helpful to open up the discussion with your parents. Talk with the staff at Moravian Village about independent living options and explore incentives being offered to new residents. You may discover that the right time is right about now.

Moravian Village of Bethlehem is a leader in 55+ independent living and offers a variety of senior living options in their cottage and apartment communities located in beautiful historic Bethlehem. Additionally, on-site personal care and skilled nursing are available for residents as needs arise. The staff has many years of experience and are happy to provide you with insights on how you can best support your parents emotionally and physically as they consider moving to an independent senior living community.

For more information about Moravian Village, please contact Jennifer Granda at 610-625-4885 x 407 or jgranda@moravianvillage.com.