While residents often report being more independent, active, and social than before, many seniors are uncomfortable with the idea of leaving a family home to move to a senior living community. A new place can be overwhelming to anyone and the pre-conceived notion that moving means losing independence is uncomfortable.
Begin Slow. Discuss any safety concerns you may have with your parents. A single bad fall can often spark a steep decline in health and chronic conditions can become unmanageable without assistance. Bring up any concerns you have over transportation or cooking. This conversation should be low-key and does not have to happen all at once, feel free to spread it out over weeks. An easy strategy to begin the conversation is to discuss a “friend” whose parent are having difficulties completing activities of daily life on their own.
Bring up the idea of a senior living community to see what their thoughts are, they may have already been thinking of it themselves. If they are uncomfortable with the thought, give them time. A decision of this magnitude deserves to be well thought out. It can often be beneficial to bring their doctor into the discussion. Always keep conversations respectful and open. Let your loved one know that you are happy and available to help with the transition, but that the decision is their own.
Once you are able to have a positive discussion on the topic with your parents, feel free to start looking at what communities are available near you with them. Ask friends and coworkers for references and their personal experiences with local communities – often they can highlight which services and amenities have become the most important to their loved ones in day-to-day life. Call communities to schedule a tour. Attending a social activity is often a great idea as you will have the opportunity to meet other residents in a relaxed setting, and ask them about their daily lives.