Many adult children put off discussing senior living, assuming they will address it when they are ready. However, your parents’ needs are likely to change quickly, so it’s a good idea to have the conversation sooner rather than later.
Keep an open mind when talking about senior living early in life without being overly prescriptive. Having a plan for your parents’ future living arrangements can prepare you for whatever may occur, as well as listening to their desires.
Read on to learn more about the best tips for talking about the move to senior living.
Six Tips for Having the Conversation About Senior Living
Use the following overview to start the conversation with parents, friends, or even another member of your family. Family dynamics and personalities will always shape how the conversation unfolds, but there are ways to approach that to make your loved one feel safe, heard and loved.
1. Don’t be afraid to bring up the subject.
It’s a good idea to discuss senior living with your loved one, regardless if they “need” to make the transition. In order to gain a deeper understanding of your parents’ point of view, ask more specific questions as the conversation unfolds. Both you and your loved one may feel unsure how to approach the topic. Start by asking, “How about never doing chores again?” or “Have you thought about an active senior living community?” can show your parents what they have to gain from the move.
2. Take the time to understand what your parents need.
Identifying your parents’ concerns and taking steps to alleviate them is part of selecting the right senior living community. It’s natural for seniors to worry about losing their independence, which is why conversations you have may revolve around this topic. Tell them that a maintenance-free community gives residents more freedom to do what they love, allowing them to be more independent and relaxed.
3. Understand the terms used in senior living.
Senior living refers to a wide range of options available to people over 55 years old. Life Plan Communities are the most comprehensive option and offer a permanent home and care services. The active, vibrant senior living of today is similar to a resort, not a nursing home as your parents once knew it. In addition to our full continuum of care services, Freedom Village offers a wide range of activities, services, amenities, events, and more. You can demystify senior living by offering these facts.
4. Know that senior living is a lifestyle.
People are often perceived as transitioning to a community because they have had an incident or accident or they have declined in health. Most of the time, this isn’t true. The possibility of moving into a community is available to older adults regardless of their age. The reason for moving may be to remain close to family and friends, for increased socialization, or for maintenance-free living.
5. Keep an open and collaborative mindset.
Let everyone who is important to your parents know that you are planning to have the conversation with them. When you receive input and support from others who care for your loved ones, you can make sure their needs, wishes, and best interests are always taken into account. Ensure that everyone important in your parents’ lives is aware this issue is now on the table and ready to be discussed.
6. Show empathy and kindness.
Taking the time to listen more than you speak will help you identify what your parents are concerned about and what their questions are about the transition to senior living.This entire topic can bring up feelings of frustration and fear for many seniors. Some might even prefer hearing about moving to senior living first from a doctor, priest, or close friend instead of their child. It’s even possible that someone else in your family is better suited to have this conversation with your parents.
If you think your parents or loved ones might be ready for senior living in an active community, explore how to get started with independent living below. We’re here as a resource for families and to answer any questions you may have.
A Personalized Continuum of Care
As an Active Life Plan Community, Freedom Village acknowledges that sometimes care needs change. To meet those changing needs, there are a variety of supportive healthcare services and affordable options for care provided on site, including nursing staff and EMTs on duty 24/7.
With unique residences or rooms in Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, we’re able to address residents’ individual care needs. These services offer peace of mind to the seniors who live here because they know they can count on the community’s support.
Contact us today to learn more about how you/your loved one can benefit from the move to senior living.