As they age, some people welcome the opportunity to move into a Senior Living community. They may see the benefits of staying engaged with other seniors, while having access to the support they need to stay independent.
Others are reluctant to move away from the familiarities of their home — even when the benefits of moving into a Senior Living community may solidly outweigh any negatives.
As a result, many families often are challenged with the question: “When do you start the conversation about moving to a Senior Living community?” The answer to that question will vary depending upon the person’s current level of independence as well as family dynamics.
Here are 5 important considerations when talking to a loved one about moving into a Senior Living community:
1. Start early as possible. Approaching the conversation as part of a discussion about long-term plans can make it less confrontational. You don’t want to wait until there is a medical crisis in which you have to unexpectedly force the conversation.
2. Keep the tone positive. Unfortunately, some people from older generations still have perceptions of Senior Living communities as being institutional. There may be concerns about lack of privacy, isolation or inadequate medical care.
Today, many Senior Living communities like Oakleaf Village feature amenities that reflect the comforts of home. These include private apartments, spacious community spaces, home-cooked meals, activities, and friendly residents and staff. By clearly conveying these types of benefits, you may be able to keep the conversation positive.
3. Schedule a visit. Many negative perceptions of Senior Living communities can be diminished with a tour. You’re welcomed to tour Oakleaf Village as part of a no-pressure tour. You also can have lunch on us to experience our community and get a taste of our flavorful dining options. For many families, a visit can ease some of the stress in discussing the possibility of living in a Senior Living community.
4. Maintain a level of respect. If you find yourself forcing the conversation about moving into a Senior Living community, you may find that you’re getting a lot of resistance. This can lead to an argumentative situation that only makes things more stressful.
Step back and look at things from their perspective. Be prepared to listen to their concerns. If your loved one is experiencing signs of decline, whether physically or mentally, there can be a lot of anxiety about considering a move from the comforts of their home, even when they’re facing challenges with their personal hygiene, cleaning their homes, cooking or remembering to take their medication.
By listening, you can be more compassionate when discussing their options.
5. Consider it an ongoing conversation. It’s unlikely that you will have just one conversation about future living arrangements and then have it all worked out. Spread out the talks over a period of time, including the need to visit and compare facilities.
After the tours, follow up with another conversation about their thoughts as well as any financial considerations. If necessary, consider asking for input from a mutually trusted third-party, such as a relative, a medical professional or a friend.