As seniors age, there comes a time they may need additional support with activities of daily living. While some older adults and adult children consider home care, many opt for senior care options like an assisted living community.
If you are trying to find ways to encourage a move to senior living for your parent, we’re here to help. Below you will find some of the top reasons seniors put off a move to assisted living and ways you can support them.
Your Guide to Encouraging Assisted Living for Aging Parents: Reasons They May Avoid a Move
Reason 1 | They Have Negative Perceptions.
Many seniors view assisted living communities like the nursing homes of the past. However, they are now far from the hospital-like environments they used to be. In fact, they offer so much more than just healthcare. Show your loved one what assisted living communities are like now by scheduling a visit to experience it firsthand.
As you both discover the enriching lifestyle, chat with residents, meet team members, and see what assisted living has to offer, you’ll easily bust the myths and the negative perceptions your loved one may have about assisted living.
Reason 2 | They Fear a Loss of Independence.
Some seniors may fear a loss of independence when moving to assisted living. After making a move, however, many seniors and their family members express that they wish they had done so sooner. This is often because with the right amount of support, seniors thrive with a full lifestyle, new friends and convenient amenities just outside their door.
If your mom or dad is still worried about a loss of independence, or that they won’t be able to be as active as they once were, sharing how a move can benefit them may help. Some of these advantages include:
- Access to support when needed
- Maintenance-free lifestyle
- Ability to create their own schedule
- Daily programs, clubs and events
- Gourmet meals with fresh, seasonal selections
- More time to focus on activities they want to pursue
Reason 3 | They Want to Remain at Home.
There are a couple of reasons your parents may want to stay in their home. For example, your mom or dad may not want to move because they raised their families there and it houses many of their positive memories. They may not want to leave behind neighbors they have gotten to know well over the years, or they may simply be afraid to step outside their comfort zone and leave their home for something unknown.
While these reasons are valid and understandable, it is important to share how their future may be impacted by remaining at home. Some helpful points may include:
- What staying at home may cost, including maintenance, taxes, repairs, and alterations to allow for aging in place
- Who will be available to care for them, and what happens when needs increase
- How the costs of 24-hour at home care compare to moving to an assisted living facility
- What happens if they have a sudden health emergency and support at home isn’t available
If their decision not to move is more about the fact they have an emotional attachment to their home, share how memories aren’t tied to the house and instead are in their heart. It can help to spend some time with them taking photographs of spaces within the home that hold their most treasured memories. Write the memories down in a photo album so they can preserve them while having a physical reminder.
Reason 4 | They Prefer to Wait.
Sometimes aging parents are willing to move to senior housing but only when they feel it’s truly needed. It’s also possible they may not want to admit they need more help, or they feel guilty putting the burden of moving on you. This can be detrimental for various reasons:
- Waiting to move can limit your loved one’s ability to make the decision on their own
- If care needs increase, you may need to make the decision, or you parent may be rushed to choose
- It lessens time to explore options that suit them best
- You may be overwhelmed without adequate support
- Your parent may not be able to enjoy the community before health changes occur
Remind your loved one that one of the greatest benefits of moving to senior living is getting to take advantage of all the community has to offer – from convenient amenities and engaging programs to new friends and a dedicated staff ready to serve. If your loved one waits until their health is compromised, they may not be able to fully enjoy all that a community like Waterstone of Lexington has to offer.
Reason 5 | They’re Anxious.
Your mom or dad may be nervous about making a move, meeting new people, making new friends, fitting in, and feeling at home. To help them feel more comfortable:
- Visit the community often prior to moving
- Attend programs ahead of time, giving them the opportunity to make friends
- Talk to the life enrichment team, who can share activities and events that may interest your loved one
- Make their space look as much like home as possible
How To Begin the Conversation About Assisted Living
If it’s time to start this conversation with your parents, you’ll want to make sure you’re well educated and prepared. Try these tips:
- Make sure the mood is pleasant
- Don’t tell them what to do; simply share your observations about their living situation
- Express your love and concern
- Explain how senior living could enhance their lifestyle
- Let them know you’ll feel better knowing they’ll receive support when needed
- Listen to their concerns and share your own feelings
- Talk with their family, friends, faith leaders and doctor, and ask them to assist with the conversation if needed
We’re Here for You and Your Loved One Through Every Step of the Transition to Assisted Living
At Waterstone of Lexington, we are always here to support you and your parents. For more advice on how to encourage a senior to move to assisted living, contact us or schedule a visit today.
If your loved one has already decided to make a move to a retirement community and you’re searching for resources on how to best prepare, check out our recent blog on preparing a loved one for a move to assisted living.
WATERSTONE OF LEXINGTON: NOW THIS IS HOME
Waterstone of Lexington is opening soon and will offer a modern approach to retirement living in a historical setting with concierge services and impressive amenities. Come see how we redefine independent living and assisted living with a visit today.