Helping Your Parents with Senior Living
Discussing senior living options may seem like a difficult conversation to have, but it doesn’t need to be. Senior living options, including various types of supportive living communities, can be beneficial for both you and your parents – and so can your conversations about them.
There are many ways to bring up the topic in a positive, supportive manner that can help put your parents at ease. Above all, it’s important to focus on the benefits of communities and how they’ll enhance your parents’ lives. Supportive living communities are vibrant places where residents enjoy readily available activities and amenities. Making a parent an active part of the process when looking at senior living communities is an important step in making the move an overall positive experience.
How to Discuss Senior Living Options with Your Parents
The best way to broach the topic of moving to a community with your parents is to treat it as exactly what it is – a way to improve their lives.
Start the Conversation Early
Communicating with your parent early on about moving to a supportive community is the best course of action. This gives them plenty of time to consider the idea and become comfortable with it, especially as they notice ways that a community could make their lives easier compared to living alone.
It also gives you time to compare your favorite communities and look together at what each has to offer. For instance, maybe your parent is a major foodie and prefers a community with delicious and healthy meals. If your parent can’t miss a day at the gym, then tour a community with a state-of-the-art fitness center. Once you know his or her needs and wants, you can take your time finding a community that offers the best of everything. Since you started early, there’s no rush.
Discuss Options and Personalization
Communities aren’t one-size-fits-all. The best options will customize the support your parents receive, giving them help they need and want while maximizing their abilities so they can do more with their day. That support can be anything from help with the activities of daily living (ADLs) to simply providing programs that make it easy for them to break out of their routine with activities that challenge them.
Talk to your parents about how they’d like to personalize their experiences. Communities can tailor not only support levels, but housing and décor to fit their needs as well. They can even talk to the community chef about personalizing meals to meet their dietary restrictions. Discussing the ways they can design their lives is often comforting and enjoyable for parents because it gives them a feeling of control.
Talk About Amenities
Talk about community features that stand out to you as major benefits. For instance, housekeeping services are always appealing. If your parent is a big fan of the outdoors, you could point out the many walking paths and trails surrounding the property. Communities focus on making life more enjoyable for their residents through amenities and services that reduce stress and provide opportunities to meet and interact with neighbors and friends.
Many residents also enjoy supportive living communities because they no longer have to worry about property upkeep. Chores like snow removal and mowing the lawn are done regularly by trained staff, removing the burden from your parents. Anything your parents may be tired of doing, from preparing meals to dealing with transportation, can be taken care of by the staff. This leaves your parent’s time open to be spent with family, friends or enjoying the activities they love.
Your parents may have concerns during your initial conversation, but most adults who’ve made the move to a supportive community wish they’d done so earlier. Be understanding of your own parents’ reluctance. When your parents are comfortable, start touring communities and talking to current residents. Once your parents visit senior living options, they’ll have a clearer picture of what to expect and can become enamored with the community lifestyle.
Often, the best time to make the move to a new community is when your parent is still in his or her prime because they can truly enjoy the available activities and amenities. There is often something for everyone, including personal training sessions, water aerobics, card nights, live music and movie nights. Those activities and the amenities that come with them mean that many residents see a significant improvement in their quality of life.
Talk About Safety
If your parents are having trouble with common tasks like correctly taking medication or maintaining a clean home, it can affect their well-being, including their physical safety and state of mind. What have you noticed about your parents and their daily tasks? The state of their home? If you’ve seen signs that are cause for concern, it’s likely your parents have, as well.
Bring up these topics in a supportive, understanding way. Your parents shouldn’t have to worry about these little tasks, they should instead focus on enjoying their lives. A community can make that possible with support and safety measures.
Compare Different Types of Communities
Before touring communities research the types that are available in your area. Knowing what services are available allows you to give informed answers to any questions your parent may have and provide advice about the right level of support – and the best amenities – for their preferences.
If your parents are largely independent and want to remain that way, you may want to discuss the customizable support of assisted living. If they have a memory impairment, memory care is likely a better option. Talk to your parents about the type of help they believe would make their lives easier, such as medication management and housekeeping. Then, discuss what would help them feel safer and more secure. That may include having a nurse available or 24-hour security. Finding the type of community that can meet those needs will improve your parents’ lives and make them feel more comfortable every day.
Make the Conversation – and the Move – Easy
Talking about moving to a supportive living community can be a great way to help your parents improve their lives. Approaching the subject with positivity and a focus on the benefits will set the right tone for you and your parents.
When you’re ready to start touring, consider The Monarch at Richardson. We’re a premier support community in Richardson, Texas. Our friendly and professional staff members are here to help family members and their relatives enhance their lives in an environment where adults shed the responsibilities of homeownership and thrive. Contact us today to schedule a tour or for answers to any questions you may have. We’re here to support you and your parents.