How to talk with a parent about transitioning into senior living
The holidays are a wonderful time to gather and celebrate with each other. For family members who are not always in town, coming home for the holidays it is a great time to observe changes in mood, behavior or wellness for your loved one.
The solution to making this process easy is to do some advanced planning, before problems arise. Too often, families wait to have these discussions until after a parent has had an unexpected health crisis.
Planning ahead allows for combining their needs with their wants and having the appropriate time to get on a wait list, if necessary, & make a thoughtful calm decision.
Here are a few tips to start the conversation:
1. Plant the seeds
Slowly start mentioning senior living, instead of starting with a large, serious conversation. Little moments of complaint might be a good time to drop a hint about the maintenance-free living that a community provides.
2. Get siblings, other family, & friends on the same page
Discuss ideas with them first before presenting to your parents or other relatives. Come up with a plan to talk to them one on one, before considering a large group meeting or dinner.
3. Scout local communities firstYou may inquire into communities and visit them to get a feeling if it's a good fit for your family member. Pick 2 or 3 communities you've visited already and then ask your family member to go on a casual visit to experience the community.
4. Choose your words wisely
Avoid words like "nursing home" or talking too much about aging. Instead, talk about the "community", "active lifestyle living", "social opportunities", and the carefree lifestyle they can enjoy! This can be an exciting new chapter of life; your tone and wording can express that.
5. Have your responses ready
They may ask, "What will I do with all my things?" or "How can I leave the house I raised you in?" You know better than anyone the reasons why your parent or family member want to stay home. Have your answers ready for these difficult, emotional aspects of leaving their home.
6. Enlist backup
Enlist a family doctor to get on board and suggest how beneficial a lifestyle community might be, especially if there are health issues involved. After all, you're their child - they're used to telling you want to do. This turn of the table might be tricky.
7. Offer to review finances
Many seniors believe that senior living options are out of their means, and they worry about exhausting their resources and having nothing to leave their children. Offer to help with this aspect, and don't forget that the sales counselor can easily help you get organized and help with resources... because they do this every day.
Moving to an independent or assisted living community can be one of the best decisions a family can make for aging in place. When social isolation comes into play and daily living alone becomes hard to handle there is a level of comfort in community.
Villa St. Benedict offers a "continuum of care" for residents that provides a range of services that encourages independence. In addition At Your Service home-care offers services in your independent home for short term or continuing basis to maintain your quality of life.
Assisted living may be the perfect solution for seniors who need help with daily activities: bed-making, dressing/bathing assistance to medication management. Our well-trained and dedicated staff makes sure each resident feels comfortable, secure and as independent as possible.
Starting the conversation is never easy, so we hope these tips help.
We wish you and your family a joyous and wonderful Thanksgiving!
To learn more about how Villa St. Benedict call to schedule a private tour at 630-852-0345.