Your parents are getting older. They have health issues or ongoing medical needs that require more attention and care than you can offer. It may be time to sit them down and discuss moving into a senior living community.
This conversation is never easy. Mom and Dad will likely have concerns about making the move, and they may even be surprised by your suggestion.
It’s natural to feel conflicted about moving your parents out of the home they love and into a facility. However, there is only so much care you can provide on your own while still tending to your own family and personal needs. Living in a community where they can receive the professional care they need may ultimately be in their best interest.
To help make “the talk” about senior living easier, here are some common concerns your parents may have and how to address them in a positive way.
Common concerns seniors have about moving to a senior living community
Most seniors don’t want to think about leaving the comfort of their own private residence. They may even have some misconceptions about senior living. Here are some concerns that might need to be addressed:
Losing their independence
Not having enough money to cover the cost of a senior community
Not having the freedom to partake in their usual activities
Having their decisions belong to staff and no longer be their own
Putting their care in the hands of people they don’t know
Aging faster to the point where they feel “old” and helpless
Not being able to see their family and friends
No longer being able to have a comfortable home that’s decorated to their unique style and taste
Having difficulty adjusting -- they won’t feel comfortable at the new place and won’t be able to make friends
Not being able to leave the community or drive
Tips for addressing your parents' concerns
1. Have a conversation about their ‘must-haves’ and really listen to what your parents say.
Ask your parents what they would expect from an independent living or assisted living facility. If they aren’t familiar with their options, let them know about some potential amenities at senior living communities, like an on-site chef who makes fresh, healthy meals and a wide array of fun social activities. Carefully listen to your parents’ must-haves and find a community that offers them.
2. Spend time researching communities together to find ones that meet all their needs.
Start with looking up high-rated senior communities or work with a senior placement agency for suggestions to get a good idea of what your local communities have to offer. Narrow your search down to two or three communities that fit the bill. Then, bring your parents on tours of each community so they can get a firsthand idea of what life is like there.
3. Compile a list of questions to ask when you speak with facility staff.
Knowing that you are actively working to answer their questions and concerns may help your parents feel more at ease with the decision to move. A few of the questions we recommend asking include:
Is there more than enough staffing to accommodate residents’ needs?
Are residents well-groomed and cleaned?
Do residents dress appropriately?
When a resident calls a staff member for assistance, how long is their response time?
What kind of activity programs are available?
What are the visitation rules?
Will residents who still drive have adequate parking?
Are walking paths and comfortable outdoor areas available to enjoy nature?
4. Work with a trusted senior placement agency.
A senior placement agency can help you find the right community for your loved ones. The senior placement specialists at Welcome Home Senior Services and Placement Co. are here to help you find the right independent living, assisted living, or memory care facility in Miami-Dade, Broward, the Palm Beaches, the Florida Keys, and Lee and Collier Counties.
Contact us if you and your family are ready to begin this new chapter in your loved one’s life.