I lost my mother to cancer early this year. She was diagnosed in January and died six weeks later. She had just turned 67 and had so much more life ahead of her. My parents never thought this would happen the way it did. In fact, they always thought my dad would go first, because he was older and had suffered a heart attack when he was 51. But life changes in an instant.
My dad, who will turn 76 in a few weeks, is now discovering sadly that he can’t keep up with the big house and yard. He lives alone out in the country away from my sister and me and other family and friends who live in the “city.” This house is where my mom and he were going to grow old together. My parents weren’t leads at any community and had no plans to sell their house and move into one. But now my dad is a potential lead.
He’s lonely and knows sooner than later he won’t be able to keep up the house and yard on his own. As we say in the business, he’s had a significant event. His thinking has changed. He’s realizing just how difficult it is – not just losing the love of his life – but managing all those little things that need to happen – daily, weekly, and monthly. He’s now open to the idea of a community where he doesn’t have to worry about taking care of the big house and the yard. He wants to be around people his own age – people he can socialize with – people who understand his situation.
This is a simple reminder about how quickly things change in the lives of those we serve each and every day. And just because someone wasn’t interested six months ago, doesn’t mean they haven’t suffered the loss of a spouse or something else significant that could make them look at your community differently than before. My dad is my proof.