Every conversation is different when it comes to planning ahead. Sometimes, your loved one has given this a great deal of thought and is glad to have your partnership in the planning. For others, the future creates anxiety and a desire to limit difficult conversations.
The way we approach these discussions helps determine the outcome. Before sitting down with your loved one, take time to do some research, write down your own questions and learn how important environmental factors are for healthy aging. Talk in person if at all possible and read their reactions. Take your time and don’t rush into any decisions. A good way to start might be to talk about experiences you’ve had with other family members and attending to their care.
These conversations can be difficult at times. Consider these five ways to discuss Assisted Living options to make the process more positive.
- Listen more than you talk.
The best way to start a conversation about future options is to ask your loved ones if they have given thought to their future plans. What is their ideal scenario? What timing have they considered? If your loved ones are married, talk about what happens if one of them needs more care? Delicately discuss how finances may impact their decisions. Instead of just giving your opinions, learn together. Ask questions and do research, always keeping in mind that your loved ones should voice their preferences.
- Put yourself in their shoes.
Your loved ones may see moving into an Assisted Living community as a blow to their independence. They may feel grief in leaving a home they’ve built for many years. They may worry about the costs. Be understanding of their concerns, and work together to find the best options.
- Look at options together.
A great way to explore senior living communities is to take a tour (virtually or in-person). A continuing care retirement community (CCRC) such as Falcons Landing offers a full-range of care. Seniors who move into our Independent Living community can take advantage of a myriad activities and recreational facilities. Your loved ones can rest easier knowing that if they need more assistance as they age, they’ll find it right in the community — there’s no need to move away from the place that has become home.
- Begin the conversation early.
Unfortunately, many times we put off these important conversations for too long. Then, when a crisis occurs, we are left frantically searching for whatever facilities have space. When that happens, options are limited and not desirable. Talking about senior living options while your loved one can live independently provides a lot more choices.
- Use positive language.
Talk about Assisted Living as a community. Falcons Landing is so much more than a place to live; we are a rich and vibrant community. Highlight amenities and choices. Your tone matters, so pay attention to your voice and make sure you are not talking down to your loved one or pushing them to make a quick decision. You may need to revisit this conversation multiple times.
According to the National Center for Assisted Living, more than 800,000 individuals reside in 28,900 Assisted Living communities nationwide. Making choices about senior living is important now before a loved one is in crisis. Have conversations now, so that they have the most choice and the most voice in this decision.