You’ve done plenty of research, you’ve started asking questions, and now it’s time to connect with your loved one about their living options. If you are looking to start a conversation with a loved one or family member about moving to a senior living community, it can be difficult to know where to be. Going about it the right way can help them get the care they need and make the most of their retirement years. Pacifica Senior Living communities pair a vibrant, engaging lifestyle with a range of care levels to offer the best of both worlds for all our seniors.
Preparing for the Conversation
It is best to spend some time researching ahead of time so you know what types of options, care and communities are out there. Come prepared to the conversation with information, ideas and an open mind. This will help ease some of the worries your loved one might have. As you learn more about senior care options, you’ll have a better understanding of the right fit for an aging loved one. Don’t downplay how serious a senior’s need for help really is and be as objective as you can. Going into the conversation with confidence and compassion can help ease anxieties and uncertainties.
Questions to Ask Ahead of Time
There are a few questions to ask when determining if a senior living community might be the best choice for your loved one such as: Are they having health problems? Are they having trouble with daily activities such as dressing, grooming, bathing, or managing medicines? What range of care is best suited to them? These are questions you may want to include when having discussions with other family members or talking to a loved one about their options.
Learn About Living Options
Where you live can have a major impact on how well you live. As you age, location and environment have an effect on everything – from physical security and mental health to longevity and wellness. Pacifica Senior Living focuses on creating a lively, engaging environment for all our residents. All our amenities, services and activities can be customized or personalized, so everyone gets exactly what they need from their new home. Choose which clubs or events to attend, customize your care level, and add services as your needs change. Exploring the different options and learning more about successful aging can give you the confidence needed to begin the conversation with your loved one and help them find the community that is best suited to their needs.
How to Have a Better Senior Care Conversation
Once you feel confident explaining options, these suggestions can help you have a productive, meaningful conversation with your loved one.
Beginning the discussion is often the hardest part. Open-ended questions are the best way to encourage them to share more information and open a dialogue. These conversation pointers may help when talking with your loved one:
- How is it living at home?
- Do you feel safe?
- Do you have concerns with medication, falling, or getting around on your own?
- Do you have a plan for long-term care?
- If you couldn’t take care of yourself, where would you go?
- How do you feel about driving?
- Is it hard to pay bills or manage finances?
- Would there be less stress without your house?
Talk in Person
Aim to have a face-to face conversation. Arrange a time when you are both rested and relaxed. Block out a time and a location where you can talk without interruption.
Don’t minimize the feelings of your loved one, and be fully present in the conversation. It’s important to acknowledge their feelings, thoughts, and emotions. Continue to ask questions to understand any reservations they might have. Make it clear that you respect their wishes and that you want to help them be as comfortable as they can be.
Your calm voice and kind demeanor will show you care. You’re trying to understand any fears or frustrations they feel. The idea of moving to an Assisted Living community may be difficult for some people. Showing empathy and compassion can help ease your loved one’s concerns.
Be Honest About your Feelings
It is important to be open and honest about your concerns. If you are worried about your loved one or parent, expressing these feelings can help them see how their decision will impact not only them, but their family and friends. it is natural to feel worried about a loved one that is aging, and sharing these thoughts can help them realize a Senior Living community will help relieve pressure from their family caregivers and bring peace of mind for everyone.
Avoid Information Overload
Make an effort not to overload the conversation with research and statistics or by sharing too much information. This can be overwhelming. Take your time and make this a journey of discovery and growth over the course of a few conversations. Ease into important topics over time and help your loved one feel comfortable communicating and sharing along the way.
Once you’ve researched information on behalf of your loved one, you may feel it is time to make a decision. Your loved one, however, may need more time. Try to put yourself in their shoes. This is a major change to their lifestyle and it may take them some time to fully understand and express what they are feeling and wanting to do. Allow them time to process the information. A mutual agreement (where possible) on how and when to continue the discussion will pay dividends in the long run.
Arrange a Community Visit
An in-person visit to one of our Pacifica Senior Living communities is one of the best ways to alleviate worries about a potential move. It’ll paint a clearer picture of what a community is actually like and will show your loved one just how warm, welcoming, and inviting their potential new residence is. They will get an idea of the lifestyle, amenities, culture, friendly team members, and caring neighbors.