With New Year’s resolutions buzzing, we anticipate the wonderful year ahead of us and the wonderful memories to be made. While we can’t foresee what lies ahead, the year may bring an unexpected move into assisted living for some, which can be challenging even under the best of circumstances. Relocating a senior parent can create obstacles, especially if they do not agree to the idea of assisted living.
It’s only natural to fear changes as we age. However, if your aging parents refuse to accept change, we can help you achieve your New Year’s resolution: effectively communicating with your loved ones about transitioning into senior care
Before you discuss senior care with loved ones, be sure to pay close attention to their overall wellness and appearance. They may say they are well, either from denial or fear of the future, but over time they will begin to show signs of needing daily care. For instance, do they require help getting around and is this worsening? Or is the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s starting to affect their memory of where they last put their medicine?
Next, do some individual research and find multiple senior care options. It’s important to evaluate and carefully select the best communities for your loved one’s needs. This will allow them to choose the option that works best for them and feel less forced when the time comes to move.
Now that you have done your research, it’s time to sit down with them and present them with your findings and thoughts. Begin by explaining the reasons why it’s no longer a good idea for them to live at home; be brief, exact, and to the point. Once you have expressed your concerns, keep the conversation positive and productive by mutually listing the pros and cons of each option, to narrow down the choices when picking the best one for you and your family.
Perhaps your loved one responds to the topic with, “It’s too soon.” Experts say that it is never too soon to make plans. Start by sitting down with them and asking, “Mom, Dad, can we talk about the future?” Start slowly and don’t force them into making a decision on the spot, as this will easily overwhelm them and likely lead to hurt feelings. Having difficult heart to heart conversations is never at the top of the list, however, it is crucial to prepare for those “what if” circumstances or events.
Research can be a great tool for providing statistics, but it’s not personal. In many cases it may be more effective to talk with a physician, nurse practitioner, or pastor. In the event that your loved one is still not seeing eye to eye on senior living, our specialists are here for your council.
Despite the preliminary challenges that accompany transitioning into assisted living, it is crucial to consider living alternatives for aging loved ones, their overall health and wellbeing. If you decide to schedule a no obligation consultation with one of our Riverwood specialists, we are always here to answer any of your questions. We would love to have you come in and see our warm community, and look forward to introducing you to our Riverwood family. We welcome the opportunity to act as a true resource to you and yours.
Written by: Katie Hanley