When is the best time to talk to your parent or parents about their future care needs? Ideally, you will want to start this conversation as early as possible, especially if your loved ones haven’t shared their plans or have been vague about it when you bring up planning for the future. Now is the time to have an open, empathetic and honest conversation about their needs. They may be undecided about the future, too. Here are some ways you can get the conversation started and talk to them about a move to an independent living community.
Ask About Future Plans
When we think about the future, we like to assume that our current levels of mental and physical fitness will remain the same. But if there is one constant in life, it’s change.
Ask your parents what they want their long-term future to look like. Do they want to age at home and try to keep up with home maintenance, even if their mobility needs change? Have they done any research about an independent living community? Do they have friends living in a community who could show them around? If they want to stay at home, have they considered how they will meet their health care needs? What if their mental acuity declines? Is there a plan in place if one of them requires 24/7 care?
Address Their Fears or Concerns
When discussing the future, your parents may have reservations about sharing their plans with you. This may be because they don’t want you to worry, or don’t want you to feel like they are a burden. Take the time to let them know that planning for their future is about your peace of mind, too. Be open to their feelings and possible concerns about leaving the family home. Remind them that community life is designed to help broaden their opportunities in retirement, not limit them.
Invite Them to Tour a Community With You
Ask your parents if they want to tour a nearby senior living community so they can see first hand what life is like there. You and your parents should prepare questions about every aspect of the community, from available amenities, to contract options and on-site health services. To get a genuine feel of community life, tour the grounds, walk through a sample residence and enjoy a meal at one of the on-site dining venues.
Address Concerns About Downsizing
If your parents have lived for decades in a large family home, a move to a smaller residence at a senior living community can pose a challenge. Where does all of that “stuff” go when they move? Remind your parents that this is a great time to pass on family heirlooms, donate or give away items that they haven’t used or accessed in years, and declutter their lives for a fresh start.
Focus on the Positive
Always focus on the positive aspects of this transition, which really is an exciting one! A smaller floor plan means less upkeep, and more time for them to enjoy all of the amenities, social clubs and other programs at the community. Independent living also allows your parents to make their social, emotional and physical well-being a priority.
Offer Your Support
Give your parents time to consider all the options you have discussed. Offer your support with whatever they need. Letting them know that you’re here to help them research communities, schedule tours, or plan and organize their move can be all the nudge they need to start considering the move seriously.
Explore Independent Living Options At Abbey Delray
If your parent or parents are ready to explore independent living options, start with Abbey Delray. Residents here enjoy resort-style living and access to exceptional services. Abbey Delray offers active, independent living options and a continuum of care for older adults on-site. Like the city of Delray Beach, we are an unpretentious but upscale community that provides a welcoming atmosphere and fun-loving culture.
To discover more about what life is like at Abbey Delray, or to schedule a tour, contact us.