Senior Living Care Blog

What To Say To Parents When It's Time To Enter A Senior Community

Posted by Sara Niemiec on Sep 24, 2019 8:00:00 AM

 

Because you love your parents, you want what’s best for them, especially in a senior community. Your parents may want happiness, longevity of life and well-being for the entire family. As a responsible child, it's important to commit to those same values for your parents too.

 

At a certain age, your parent’s health may begin to deteriorate, and they may struggle to find the same joy they had in their earlier years. Many problems can arise, such as dangerous illnesses that can seriously impact a senior’s health that must be dealt with urgency and delicacy. Though this could be a difficult time for you, your parents and your family, there are ways to create a more comfortable process, one of which being a move to a senior community.

 

Beginning the conversation with your loved ones about the possibility of moving to a senior community can be difficult, but necessary. The discussion requires adequate and proper preparation before addressing the situation. With proper research, talking with your loved ones could offer assurance to both you and your parents. A few things to keep in mind as you prepare:

 

● Educate yourself on options, expenses and appropriate treatments for your parents.

● Ask the right questions to understand your parent’s situation and feelings regarding the possibility of a move.

 

If you’re worried about initial questions and conversation starters, here are some options you can use:

 

“How is it living at home alone? Do you still feel safe?”

“Do you feel lonely sometimes? Would you like to spend more time with people your own age?”

“How do you feel about driving? Would you like other options of mobility?”

“Is it ever hard to manage your finances and keep up with paying your bills?”

“Would you feel less stress if you didn’t have to worry about the house?”

 

After you’ve asked the right questions and understand your parent’s position on the matter, there are a few other considerations to take into account:

 

Plans For A Senior Community Should Be An Ongoing Discussion

An older man talking to his mother about moving into a senior community

In order to cut back on tension or possible conflict between the family’s and your parent’s desires, treat your conversations as an ongoing process. Though you may have done plenty of research to find the healthiest choice, they may not feel the same way. Many seniors have strong opinions on what they want to do with their time, and therefore, it’s important to consider their feelings in the decision; remember, it’s your parents that will have to make the move, make new friends, and change their lives around, so their feelings are important. Here’s an example of a start to a conversation that is not “ongoing,”

 

“We need to have a conversation right NOW!”

 

This may make your parents feel like you and your family are teaming up against them, and they may turn defensive. Instead, consider a similar, more passive approach:

 

“We want to make sure that you’re well taken care of and happy. However, we’re not sure how to do that unless we understand what you need…”

 

This is a simple yet direct way of starting an ongoing, non-aggressive talk about future plans with your parents, allowing both sides to feel comfortable and loved.

 

Talk About Options: Both Location And Payment

A man opening his wallet to pull out money to pay for a senior community

Because your loved ones may be living in their new location for the remainder of their lives, researching the right community or home is important. There are plenty of places that your parents can move to that are highly rated and a good fit. One main aspect you’ll want to understand is the difference between the various types of care, such as: home care, assisted living or hospice. Each have their pros and cons, so you’ll want to ensure you understand the needs and desires of your parents before choosing one.

 

As you go through the selection process, it may be helpful to include your parents in the research, depending on their eagerness to understand each aspect. The more you involve your parents, the more they feel cared for and therefore, may make the process easier and more straightforward.

 

Another aspect that is crucial to address (and sometimes the most uncomfortable) is finances. According to a Genworth 2018 survey, the costs of senior living communities can range anywhere from $1500 to over $8000 per month, making the decision on the location and services provided even more essential. Depending on your family’s funds or your parent’s retirement savings, financial decisions may need to be made prior to this discussion in order to help prepare for those expenses.

 

There are plenty of ways to prepare for the range of expenses you and your parents will need to cover. Start by calculating how much is covered under their current health insurance benefits. Once you recognize how insurance can help cover costs as your parents age, map out other ways to finance this life transition. One way to set yourself (and your parents) up for financial success is to plan ahead by saving money in advance. Given your busy schedule, you’ll be glad to know there are easy ways to do this, like going online and setting up an automatic savings account. Be sure to take care of this prior to your conversation though; doing so will allot you some time to save the amount of money needed to help pay for any incurred costs.

 

Your Impact On Those Closest To You

Though it may appear to be a stressful time, it’s also an exciting opportunity for both you and your parents as they move to a senior community. Remember to stay positive throughout your conversations, using words that are uplifting and enthusiastic. This will help ease the worry that may come as you have these ongoing discussions with your parents. Positivity in a time of opportunity can make a big difference and turn the anxiety into joy. These conversations are moments to take advantage of because they will show the love that you have for them.

 

Learn More Here!

 

Topics: Senior living community

How to Choose a Senior Living Community

Posted by Matt Boyle on Apr 27, 2018 11:00:00 AM

 

The process of choosing a senior living community begins when you start to notice changes concerning a loved one. Maybe they no longer want the trouble of having to maintain a house. Or perhaps you find that they are often alone and in need of social interaction. This could also coincide with significant episodes concerning memory loss, driving ability, decreased mobility, or overall difficulty accomplishing menial tasks. Eventually, the conversation has to become directed towards a new path. It's time to decide whether or not it is time to consider a senior living facility for your loved one.

Even though they may still be independent, integrating into the right senior living facility can do wonders for the mental acuity and health of your loved one. Finding the right retirement community that can meet your loved ones needs is critical. In general, it is best to find a community that offers a wide range of care options. This way, as your loved one’s needs change, they will continue to receive the proper care needed. It's also wise to choose a location with a climate that they will be comfortable living in. You should also leverage the web to research and read reviews about all the available options.

 

Finding a Senior Living Community

 

The first step to take when searching for senior living communities is to think about your loved one's health needs and personal preferences. Some items to consider before you begin the process of searching:

  • What kind of assistance will my loved one need? For example, if your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer's, what kind of memory care options are available?
  • Where will my loved one want to live? In a warm or colder climate? Near family? Near shopping and retail? Near a golf course? Near a hospital?
  • What kind of features do they need to function? Wheelchair access? Assistance showering?
  • What is their budget? Prioritize everything from what is absolutely necessary to what is merely desired.

 

Once you have compiled a list of criteria and proper budget, you can begin searching online to find the right community near you. Some excellent resources beyond Google and simple word of mouth include:

 

Throughout this process, you should keep the focus on finding a community that will keep your loved one happy and healthy, both now and in the future

 

Evaluating Senior Living Communities

In this part of the process, you've successfully narrowed down your list of communities to a handful of top choices. Make sure that your loved one is extremely involved or leading the process to find their new home. Once you have a list, it can be helpful to tour their physical location(s) with your loved one (if possible). It can be helpful at this point to bring along pre-written questions, in case they do not cover everything during the tour. Some of the key aspects to have top of mind include the quality of the following factors:

 

Activities

Having a healthy balance of recreational activities is an important part of senior communities. That's because it promotes socialization and gives residents a purpose and chance to do something fun. The full list of activities available should cater to a wide variety of interests and physical abilities. But most importantly, it should contain activities that your loved one would enjoy, or would at least be interested in trying! This can include everything from outings, to church service, to community service, to sports. Make sure to go over the community's activity list with your loved one.

 

Medical Care

Does your loved one require specialists? If so, does your ideal senior living facility have staff clinically trained to administer that treatment? Or is the community located near medical professionals that are capable of doing so? Look for a retirement community that can provide care or detailed information about nearby medical providers. Likewise, check online reviews to make sure staff will treat your loved one the way they would want to be treated.

 

Weather

What type of weather is your loved one comfortable living in? Research the potential areas they are interested in and find out what the climate is like from season to season. Always visit the area and ask residents what they think of the weather, especially if they are transplants from another state. If they love warmth, they may like retirement homes in Florida, or if east coast winters are more their thing, check out senior living communities in Boston, MA. It's important to remember that this will be more than a short term commitment.

A couple enjoying the weather outdoors at their senior living community. 

Budget

This is one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a location. Affordable senior living facilities are not especially easy to find. That's why having budget top of mind is a priority when evaluating different options. Consider what your monthly bills will be, as well as any unexpected medical expenses could occur. There's also the reality of entrance fees, monthly maintenance, and any up charges that could accrue.

 

Questions to Ask While Touring

  • Can we go over the contract details concerning regulations fees?
  • How does billing work?
  • Are pets allowed?
  • Can residents come and go as they please?
  • What restrictions do you place on residents?
  • What activities and events do you encourage residents to participate in?
  • Do you take Medicaid, Medicare, VA Aid, long-term care insurance or any other payment program?

 

While touring the facilities, keep an eye out for how whole the grounds are kept, how happy residents seem, and what the overall atmosphere is. Speak to residents and find out if they're satisfied with their current level of care and amenities. Look out for any red flags, and notice any positive signs. Check out our features on the signs to look for when evaluating quality of senior care:

 

Signs of a Great Senior Living Community

  • Excellent Behavioral Care
  • Certification from the State
  • Variety of Scheduled Activities and Functions
  • Great Comfort and Care
  • Wonderful Senior Community Friends
  • Safety Features

 

Signs of a Bad Senior Living Community

  • Noticeable Wear and Physical Signs of Stress
  • Residents are Uncomfortable with or Avoid Questions
  • Frantic or Apathetic and Uncaring Staff, High Turnover
  • Hostility Between Staff and Residents
  • Poor Customer Service

 

Bottom Line

When embarking on the search to find a great senior living community, there are a great number of variables that should factor into you and your loved one's decision. This guide will provide you with a starting point and outline to follow for when you begin the journey to find a new home.

Landmark Senior Living Communities can save you from the hassle and emotional stress of searching for a great community. At Landmark, your loved one will be able to experience exceptional care and comfort delivered daily. We take care of our residents, and build strong relationships through our combined dedication to people, passion, and purpose.

 

 Schedule A Tour!

 

 

Topics: Senior living community

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