Life Transitions—Adapting to Change

May 18, 2022

Transitions are a natural and inevitable part of life. While many of us fear change, the reality is change is often very positive. We all know, life is about change. You could be downsizing your home for all the right reasons — dear friends could be moving closer to their children or to a retirement community. You might even be realizing driving isn’t as easy as it used to be. These kinds of transitions are something all of us will go through at one point or another. The difference is in how we choose to deal with change.

Moving through a life transition successfully may mean you experience several stages:

  • Experiencing fear regarding making changes in your life
  • Sorrow at leaving friends and familiar surroundings
  • Anger at the feeling you may be giving up your independence
  • Anxiety and/or anticipation at having to move to another state to be near family

We see retirees going through these kinds of life transitions every day. We understand what it’s like and are here to help ease our residents through all of it. What’s important to remember, however, is that these are natural feelings. Don’t worry if you experience any of them. Once you do, you also begin the process of acceptance, and can become hopeful and excited about the future. And with the support of our staff and other residents, you won’t have to go through any of it alone at the Village at McLean.

An Independent Living community like the Village at McLean is designed to provide a wonderful, invigorating change. With all the Village has to offer, a transition like this could turn out to be the best decision you’ll ever make.

Consider the feeling of relief that comes with no longer having to care for a yard that needs constant attention or make extensive home repairs. Imagine yourself in a spacious apartment at the brand-new Goodrich, or in another of McLean Village’s beautiful homes. You’ll still have the beauty of a large yard, only now, it requires no maintenance from you. And with amenities including a state-of-the-art fitness and wellness center, beautiful, multi-purpose performing arts center, multiple dining experiences, from casual to formal to private, you’ll be able to enjoy retirement, find new friends and hobbies, experiencing a whole new quality of life.

Be kind to yourself. It’s important to remember that even the happiest life transitions come with strong emotions. When your life is disrupted, it’s alright to feel uncomfortable during the transition —a new reality takes time. A life transition can be disorienting and confusing. It’s perfectly normal to feel insecure and anxious. These feelings are part of the process and will pass.

Rely upon your support system. Seek out friends and family members, especially those you trust implicitly; those who don’t judge and encourage you to express your feelings. And remember, the Village at McLean has social workers, an experienced staff, and wonderful residents who enjoy acting as a support system for each other. And if needed, there are also therapists available who can and will help you through your transition.

Don’t be afraid to acknowledge what you’re leaving behind. This is step one in accepting the transition. Think about how you respond to changes in your life: Do you try to avoid them, or drag them out because letting go is so difficult? Then there are those who joke and make light of the situation, bottling their true feelings so as not to feel pain or sadness. It’s important to remember that until you acknowledge your feelings about what you’re leaving behind, you won’t be able to accept and enjoy the new.

While you’ve more than likely gone through many transitions throughout your life, moving to an Independent Living community like The Village at McLean is simply a new chapter in your story. And in this new chapter, with all the help, support, and friendship you’ll find among the residents and staff at McLean, you’ll clearly see, you’re not losing your independence, you’re gaining even more. So don’t worry — you’ve got this!

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