Where to Start
Aging and the loss of function can bring about a host of painful feelings and changes for families. Initiating a conversation with a parent or loved one about senior living options can be complicated and emotional. The move to a senior living community can be a difficult transition, but most seniors find that, following the adjustment period, senior living is rewarding, fun, safer, and more comfortable than living alone. If it’s time for your family to broach the topic of senior living with your loved one, try the tips listed in an article from AgingCare.com, below.
An article on AgingCare.com suggests the following to encourage a loved one to consider making a move to a senior living community:
1. First, plant the seed. Don't approach your parent as though you've already made the decision for him or her. Just mention that there are options that could make life easier and more fun.
2. Next, offer a tour of some local senior living centers, if he or she is willing, but don't push it. Drop the subject if necessary, and wait for another day.
3. Watch for a "teachable moment." Did Mom fall, but escape getting badly hurt? Use that as a springboard. You may want to wait a bit, or immediately say something like, "Wow, that was close. Once you're feeling better, maybe we could go look at the new senior living center over by the church. We'd both feel better if you had people around." Go with your gut on the timing, but use the "moment."
4. Again, don't push unless you consider this an emergency. It's hard to wait, but you may need to. Wait for, say, a very lonely day when Mom is complaining about how she never sees her friends anymore. Then, gently, try again.
5. Check with your friends and friends of your parents. See if any live happily in an senior living center nearby, or if their parents do. Just like your first day of school when you looked for a friend – any friend – who may be in your class, your parent would feel much better if there were a friend already in the center.
6. Even if they won't know anyone, you can still take your parent to watch a group having fun playing cards or wii bowling. Show off the social aspects of a good center. Keep it light and don't force the issue. Tour more than one center, if possible, and ask your parent for input. Big center or small? New and modern or older and cozy?
7. Show interest in how much privacy a resident has. Ask about bringing furniture from home and how much room there is. Take measuring tapes and visualize, if you can see some rooms, how your parent's room(s) would look. Show excitement, as you would do if you were helping your parent move to a new apartment, because that's what you are doing.
8. Stress the safety aspects.
9. Stress the fact that there's no yard cleanup, but flowers can be tended to. There's no need to call a plumber if the sink breaks, but there are plenty of things to do if people want. There's plenty of freedom to be alone, but company when they desire it.
For additional research, visit the AgingCare.com article: Signs that tell you it’s time for Assisted Living