Many seniors are attracted to the idea of “aging in place.” However, the reality is that many older adults will require some level of long-term care in their lifetime. If you are worried about a parent or loved one living alone and being able to properly care for themselves, here is some information to help you start the conversation about personal care.
Signs That a Conversation is Necessary
If you’re unsure about when to start the conversation with your older loved one about moving to a senior living community, you’re not alone. Some telltale signs that point to having a discussion include:
- Your parent can no longer manage their medications or personal care.
- You’ve noticed unhealthy changes in their appearance, personality or the condition of their home.
- They have developed a new chronic illness, are losing weight or are at risk of falling due to mobility issues.
- They are missing routine appointments or forgetting to pay bills.
- They are struggling to prepare meals or stock the refrigerator.
Talking to Your Loved One
Starting a discussion with your aging mom or dad about their future living situation can be uncomfortable. Having a plan, an open mind and a good listening ear can help.
Before you talk to your loved one, gather all the information you need first. Your parents will probably have a lot of questions and you will want to have the right answers when you start your discussion about a move to personal care. Have a clear understanding about what personal care is like on a day-to-day basis, including the levels of care, amenities, services and costs. We also encourage you to meet with siblings or other family members who are involved with important family decision-making so that everyone can be on the same page about the path moving forward.
Have the conversation sooner than later
It’s always best to start the conversation about senior living options while your loved ones are in good health, not when a crisis arises. This gives you time to build the conversation slowly over time without pressure or tension. Plant the seed about the potential for long-term care by asking them questions about any issues or changes they’ve notice to their activities of daily living. Have they recently fallen? Are they having trouble getting dressed or preparing meals?
Listen to your parents
How are your parents feeling about moving from their family home to somewhere new? What are their preferences for a senior living community? Remember, your parent may be hesitant, or even fearful, about the idea of personal care. By doing research ahead of time, you will be able to talk through and answer their questions and concerns.
Keep it positive
If your parent is having hesitations or doubts about moving to a personal care community, it is important to talk about the transition in a positive manner. Reassure them that personal care is for people who want to continue living an active, independent lifestyle, but need a little extra assistance with daily tasks. Encourage your loved one to keep an open mind and focus on the advantages that the new lifestyle change will provide, such as:
- Personalized care and attention
- Increased independence
- Opportunities to socialize and engage
- No more home maintenance or upkeep
- Diverse dining options
- Community services and amenities
At The Heritage of Green Hills, We’re Here to Help
Making the move into a personal care community is a significant decision, but having this initial conversation is a good first step. Remember to be patient with your loved one, listen to their concerns and always be empathic toward their situation. Start talking with your older loved ones now about a plan you both feel comfortable with and contact Heritage of Green Hills today to schedule a tour.