For many aging adults, the prospect of moving into a senior living community such as a residential assisted living home can be unsettling, or even alarming. There are many misconceptions about senior living that can cause these feelings – many worry that they will lose their independence or be ‘locked away’ in a crowded building. Fortunately, there are many wonderful options that provide quite the opposite experience, allowing residents to enjoy their retirement with autonomy and fulfillment while receiving a level of support that ensures their safety and comfort.
If you believe your aging parent or loved one would benefit from a transition to senior living, you may be struggling with how to broach the topic with them for fear of conflict or resistance. This can create an uncomfortable impasse, but it is important not to delay this important conversation any longer than is necessary. If they are living on their own but experiencing mobility-related challenges, an increased risk of falling, memory issues or difficulty with daily tasks, delaying a move to senior living can significantly decrease their quality of life and even put them in harm’s way. Below are a few things to consider before bringing up the topic with a loved one.
Do Your Research
“Senior living” is a broad term that can conjure negative feelings and present an overwhelming number of care levels or lifestyle options that can add stress to the initial conversation. It is wise to determine what kind of senior living situation would best suit their needs. If they are simply struggling with home upkeep but otherwise fully capable and self-sufficient, independent living might be a good option as it provides the same level of autonomy as their own home without the inconvenience of home maintenance. However, if you are considering senior living due to a visible change in physical or mental capability, assisted living is likely the best option. Assisted living communities allow residents to live independently on their own accord but provide a level of safety and support that ensures a high quality of life. Be sure to stress that assisted living offers support for their life rather than control over it.
Make It a Conversation
When people are told what to do, they can become defensive or resistant. Avoid bringing up senior living as though a decision has been made or that you know better than they do. Instead, tell them something has been bothering you that you’d like to discuss. Share with them the factors that led you to conclude that a lifestyle change might be best and share with them the findings of your research, then ask what they think and what they might envision for their future. This can help get them thinking and make it possible for them to join you in exploring options knowing that their voice is being heard and appreciated.
If you would like to learn more about addressing senior living with your loved one, call Heartfelt Residential Care today at (800) 379-3860.