Helping an Introvert Prepare for a Move to Senior Living
Most people think of retirement communities as a place to enjoy social activities, take group trips to local and national destinations, and spend time socializing with neighbors. We picture an environment full of outgoing seniors joyfully engaged with life.
But what happens to older adults who are introverted but also interested in moving to a senior community?
For those seniors, the idea of being forced to socialize may prevent them from moving. For extroverted older adults, being surrounded by friends is energizing and fun. But for introverts, it can feel overwhelming.
If the fear of losing privacy is keeping you or a senior loved one from moving to a senior living community, here’s what you should know.
Helping an Introvert Enjoy Life at a Senior Living Community
- Freedom to choose: Residents of a senior living community are in charge of their own daily schedule. From what time you eat breakfast to whether you want to participate in a calligraphy workshop, your day is your own.
- Flexible meal options: Some introverted older adults might fear they will be forced to eat meals at certain times and with certain groups of people. That can be off-putting and even intimidating. Many of today’s senior living communities are much more flexible when it comes to dining options. Residents can grab a quick bite in a community bistro or enjoy a more leisurely dinner with fellow residents or invited guests.
- Scheduled housekeeping visits: A more reserved older adult might think moving to a senior living community means they will give up control of when services are delivered. Unless an emergency occurs, housekeepers and maintenance team members won’t show up unannounced. Residents typically have a scheduled day and time for weekly housekeeping, often completed by the same staff member.
- Freedom to participate: Senior living communities offer a wide range of life enrichment activities and group outings every day. Residents can choose to participate in as many—or as few—activities as they like. While staff might encourage a new resident to try activities like yoga or watercolor journaling, participation is never mandatory.
- Family visitors are welcome: It’s also important to know that senior living communities actively encourage family visitors, especially in the early days after a move. For an older adult who is introverted or shy, having familiar faces around each day can help them settle in more quickly.
Our final suggestion is to carefully plan for the transition. While it might take a little more time, it can help reduce stress and anxiety. “Helping an Older Adult Manage Pre-Move Anxiety” offers tips to help!