Is It Time For Senior Living?

Deciding the time is right for senior living for yourself or your loved one is a highly personal decision, based on many factors specific to your family.

If you answer yes to one or more of the questions below, it may be time to consider senior living.

  • Are there days when showering or bathing is too difficult to manage on your own?
  • Does getting together with friends or family seem increasingly unappealing?
  • Is it becoming harder to move around the house safely??
  • Have more than a few meals been routinely forgotten?
  • Is decision making becoming a burden?
  • Does driving no longer feel 100 percent safe?
  • Are medications consistently being taken correctly?

Having the Important talks

When the time comes to consider senior living for your parent or loved one, it is natural to feel apprehensive about discussing the transition. Conversations of this nature are critical and have the ability to shape your parent’s experience at a senior living community. While your instinct may be to avoid talking about moving away from home until it becomes an emergency, it is always more productive to prepare yourself and your loved one for what may come next.

While this stage of life can be wrought with stress and emotion, these tips may help make your conversations more productive.

If you have any questions about having the talk with your loved ones, we are happy to provide a listening ear and helpful advice.

Come Prepared

  • Do your research. Does your loved one need help with home maintenance? Cooking? Dressing? Taking their medications on time? By understanding exactly what care level your loved one might need, your approach to research can be more streamlined.
  • Learn the lingo. Independent living, home care, assisted living, and memory care are all different services that offer various care levels. Arm yourself with this knowledge so you can confidently approach your loved one.

Show Empathy

  • Ask “how would I feel?” By putting yourself in your loved one’s shoes, you will be better equipped to comprehend the fears and sadness they may be facing.
  • Choose your words wisely. Terms such as “assisted living” and “community” are less intimidating than “nursing home” and “facility.”
  • Be conscious of your tone. Speak in a calm and pleasant voice to reassure your parent, and try hard to maintain that tone throughout the conversation—even if your loved one becomes angry.

Involve Your Loved One (If They Want)

  • Avoid the “us vs. them” mentality. Offer to include your loved one in the research and take her input into consideration. Show her the Sunrise website, explain that they can bring their furniture, and include them on community tours - they may be more invested in the process as a result.
  • Respect your parent’s wishes. If your loved one would rather you handle the process, respect their wishes and try to make the transition as seamless as possible.

Don't Do It Alone

  • Include an unbiased third party. Bringing another person into the conversation, such as a doctor, faith partner, or close friend, can help ground the discussion and keep things on track.
  • Get your siblings on board. Family tension can add stress to an already stressful situation. Connect with your family prior to approaching your parent, and make sure you are all on the same team.

Understand You May Face Some Resistance

  • Do not expect to come to a decision after one conversation. Resisting change is normal. Let your loved one sit with the idea of getting some assistance or moving.
  • Make this an ongoing conversation. Set aside a time to revisit the topic after your initial talk, and continue to approach the subject with sensitivity.