You likely feel relieved once you’ve finished talking to a loved one about senior living. All the nervousness and anticipation for the conversation are now behind you. Although you’ve made progress thus far, the journey is just beginning.
There are a few items of business to handle before you start packing boxes and arranging the moving company. Although you’ve introduced the subject, the conversation about senior living isn’t over. It’s vital to keep communication open, acknowledge all parties’ feelings, and come together to make the best decision for your family.
You’ve learned tips on initiating the conversation, prepared for it, participated, and took a deep breath. What happens now? Although every situation is different, the following pointers can benefit you and your family, regardless of where you are in the process:
Don’t Set It and Forget It
Life-altering decisions require continued communication. If your parents or children weren’t initially receptive to senior living, more discussions must occur until everyone is on the same page.
Conversely, if everyone agrees, there are still topics to discuss, such as which communities to tour, a reasonable timeline, and deciding the next steps for the family home. It also typically takes several conversations with siblings, friends, and trusted advisors to grow more comfortable and confident.
Focus on the Positives
Positivity is powerful, especially when dealing with a sensitive topic like moving to a senior living community. Whether you’re an older adult reassuring your children or an adult child encouraging your parents, be mindful of your attitude.
Instead of focusing on what you or a loved one will no longer be able to do – like maintaining a home or driving a car – emphasize the benefits of a senior living environment. At Sundale Senior Living, we offer the following amenities and programs that contribute to a thriving retirement:
- Three nutritious, chef-inspired meals daily
- Apartment-style living
- Beautifully maintained outdoor courtyards
- Newly renovated shared spaces
- Various engaging programs
- Group outings
- And more.
Wherever you fall in the journey to senior living, an important step is to tour communities in your area. Although some offer virtual tours, the best way to experience the atmosphere of senior living communities is to visit them in person.
As family members and friends tour communities, they must know what their loved one wants and make certain the top three choices reflect their needs. Once you agree on the best options, invite your parents or loved ones to visit them with you. Ask them which community they like best and ensure it suits their needs and expectations.
Create a Plan
You’ve likely heard of SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. When working toward an aspiration or achievement, you break the process into sizable chunks, making it easier to grasp and accomplish. The same idea applies to what happens after talking to a loved one about senior living.
Rather than viewing the process as daunting, separate it into several steps to keep the momentum going. For example, when determining which community is best for you or your loved one, create a plan to write down the pros and cons of Community A on Monday, Community B on Tuesday, and Community C on Wednesday. Then, plan to review your notes with your family on Thursday.
Because the process is emotional, give yourself grace if you don’t finish a particular action item when you originally planned. Ensure you update your family on each step and how you feel.