Maybe the last time you visited home you noticed some things about your loved ones that sparked concern. Maybe mom and dad mentioned needing some extra help around the house, or you worry about them being unable to keep up with their lifestyle. Transitions are always difficult, especially when it comes to the time for your loved ones to transition to a retirement community. The conversation can be awkward, stressful, and difficult to begin, while also being necessary. Coming from a place of love and concern adds to the pressure of the situation, so here are three tips from time.com to help you as you begin a conversation about retirement communities.
Recognize their independence. Many people assume that when they move into a retirement community, they will be forced into complete dependence on the staff and lose all of their independence and freedom. This is not the case! Plenty of retirement communities nowadays offer excellent options for independent living which provide a lot of freedom while also offering a certain area of support where the residents choose, such as a built-in community of friends, housekeeping help, or delicious meals offered in a common dining room. A person’s independence does not necessarily need to be surrendered in the midst of a transition to a retirement community.
Address concerns but don’t tell them what to do. A 2015 Harvard Study found that almost 70% of people aged 85 and over lack adequate safety features in their home. Certainly, this is cause for concern, but nobody wants to have a conversation with someone who seems like a know-it-all. Respect and consideration of the feelings of everyone involved will go a long way. Ask questions to encourage your loved one to reflect on what is or isn’t currently working, what might be most beneficial in the long run, and take a personal responsibility in helping them find solutions. Especially important is encouraging your loved one to join you should you choose to explore the different options for retirement communities nearby.
Despite the difficult nature of this conversation, it is not something to avoid or skirt around. Consider the many emotions that come alongside moving and be sensitive to your loved one’s feelings and allow them time and space to consider your concerns. Ultimately, you want the very best for your loved one and it will be of little benefit to anyone to rush through the process. Our staff is also committed to making the transition as easy as possible and we hope to provide you and your family with the best care available.