July 20, 2017

 

One of the most difficult conversations of your life may be talking to your aging parents about moving from their longtime home into assisted living or another senior living option. Your parents may have a stubborn mindset and harbor a different perception of what senior living entails, often confusing assisted living with nursing homes.

In reality, today’s assisted living facilities offer modern amenities, fun social activities, and spacious living spaces. As you prepare for difficult conversations with your parents, here are some “do’s and don’ts” of talking about downsizing to an assisted living facility.

Do help educate them

While you may have done extensive research on the options available for your aging parents, they may not understand the benefits of modern assisted living. Assisted living is a great compromise for older adults who may need extra care but still desire a level of independence. In an assisted living facility, seniors are relieved of the responsibility of home maintenance but still have privacy and security. They will have access to medical assistance, nutritious dining options, and social activities with new friends. The pressures of driving, cooking, and cleaning are no longer a problem in assisted living facilities.

Don’t wait until it’s too late

Today, seniors are waiting longer to leave their homes and move into a retirement community. In many cases, seniors are not leaving their homes until an emergency occurs and enter a skilled nursing facility or hospice care. Living alone can have dangerous consequences for seniors, including loneliness, isolation, and safety risks. Reassure your parents that assisted living can provide them with the independence they desire as well as the safety, security, and assistance they need to maintain healthy well into their retirement years.

Do take a tour

As stated earlier, many older adults have a preconceived notion of senior living options that is very different than the high-quality senior living options available today. That’s why it’s beneficial to take a tour with your older parents to let them see the residences and meet some of the staff. Many retirement communities also post photos, blogs, and virtual tours on their websites to help you and your family get to know the community better and make an educated decision.

Don’t forget to ask for help

Downsizing is no small task. Enlist the help of other family members, children, and friends to help move furniture, sell items, or pack up belongings. Remember to take your time and be patient with your parents as they let go of their possessions. Help your parents focus on what they’re gaining by downsizing: a more carefree and relaxing retirement without the stress and worry of owning a large home.