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"Never ask a barber if you need a haircut," wisdom from the Wild West when a Retirement Home is on the horizon

Posted Apr 5th, 2016 in News, Retirement, Tips

"The Old West is not a certain place in a certain time, it's a state of mind.  It's whatever you want it to be." Tom Mix

I heard a fascinating analogy the other day, a wise gentleman compared the advent of so many retirement homes, to the raucous hullabaloo created by the growth of the wild west.  I have to say, I agreed with his thoughts, and felt compelled to pen the idea further, to put it all into perspective.  

So with tongue in cheek, and pen on paper, here are 5 reasons why searching for a Retirement Home equates to the wild west...western quotes and all...

1.  In the wild west, hierarchy was usually determined after this quote was uttered, “This town ain’t big enough for the two of us…”   As sure as the sun will set over the horizon, all new Retirement Residences claim to be better than the last...

  • Alas, every few months there's a “new sheriff” (retirement company) in town.  The advertisements shine with promises of a sense of stability, and value added service for potential residents. Unfortunately, there are so many homes with varying costs, services, and accommodation options, the average person seeking that next best thing may become befuddled by the diversity 
  • Think about the Home's location, proximity to amenities, and access to friends and families.  Is this a place to cool your heals, and hang your hat?

2.   "Don't let your yearnings get ahead of your earnings."  Understand the costs and read the fine print before you sign on the dotted line. There may be gold in "them there" hills, but it does you little good if someone else controls your purse strings

  • Often, costs for care and services are presented in retirement homes like a restaurant's à la carte menu. Think about your immediate, short, and long-term plans.  
  • Do you have a chronic health condition that will require additional care? Does this home support aging in place, and do they have staff with qualifications to manage potential, evolving health requirements?
  • Alike the California gold rush, many will seal their destiny with faith and promises, but unless there is a pot of gold at the end of the residence hunting rainbow, count your pennies first

3.  Seek information from trusted sources when looking for that next home.  in other words, "Never ask a Barber if you need a hair cut."
  • For some reason, I have been targeted as of late to receive "How to choose a retirement home" blogs, as a form of unsolicited, advertisements on my personal, facebook news feed.  I find this amusing, as the articles are sponsored by one of the largest Retirement care owners/providers in this province. This "sage advice" helps the user find their next best home.  It is apparent the owners have the cash flow to support this type of ad campaign and the advice leads you to their "yellow brick road."  As I recall the wizard in this story, also held access to smoke and mirrors
  • "Now where I come from, the wolf is never left in charge of the chicken coop."  Something to think about, when making a life altering choice...

4.  Are you proactive or reactive? "Worry is like a rocking horse. It’s something to do that doesn’t get you anywhere."

  • A wise consumer will shop for a retirement home, long before the need arises.  Often hasty decision making leads to dissatisfaction. Wrong choice?  No one wants to move twice in a short period.  "It's better to think slowly than to make mistakes quickly"
  • Start scouting the terrain long before the need arises and ask current residents during tours, how they like this residence

5. "A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient horse walks in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you."   Try to find a trusted confidante to accompany you on tours to help assimilate the information.

  • In retirement homes, the person entrusted to provide the tour is influential in the sales department. Tours are generally geared on a specific route and always feature home highlights.  This attention may direct you from other areas and amenities where there are gaps in services 
  • Take careful notes or use our mobile apps (Elder Pilot: Retirement) to guide you through the tour, to record comments, take pictures and provide a report for later review
  • Or as Wyatt Earp once said..."Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything"

So before you put on that 10 gallon hat and saddle up for some tours, take some time to read the nonpartisan blogs from our web site: Elderpilot.com.  

We won't promise you pans of gold,  dance hall revelry, or a feisty game of poker, but if you do decide to saddle up, we will help you hold the reins to your future.

And, for any of you cow pokes who disagree with the analogy that the Retirement home industry resembles the Wild West, may you kindly be reminded that,  

"There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither one works..."



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