Sometimes it’s hard to know when it’s time to think about senior living.
Knowing when to bring up the conversation of moving into a senior living community isn’t always easy. Your loved one may be resistant to the idea of change and you and the rest of your family might be feeling the pressure of providing them the best quality care and support with a lack of resources or time to be able to do so. You are not alone. Many adult children struggle with this situation and therefore delay the conversation due to fear of the unknown.
Write down the pros and cons
Take time with your loved ones to sit down and map out the pros and cons of transferring to an assisted living and/or memory support community and identify the key elements that matter to you. Discuss in great depth the things that are most important to your loved one and your family. Are you looking for a community that’s close to a hospital? Does the food and dining experience mean a lot to you? Are you interested in safety features and technology? Whatever is important to you all, should be written down. Then plan a time to review these together and identify how if the pros outweigh the cons. If not, take a deeper look into what the cons are. Ask yourself, is this due to lack of research or understanding? Is there a solution for this and how can it be addressed? Is it something you could bring to an assisted living or memory care community as you tour the property and discuss with the team there?
Research relevant communities
Once you have a better idea of the specific senior living community you’re looking for, sit down and spend some time thoroughly researching communities that meet your requirements and lifestyle. Read reviews of these communities, call them and make inquiries about things that may not be listed on their social media or website. Then, once you’ve taken the time to compile a list of communities, organize them into a list starting with your top choice.
Schedule an interactive tour
Starting with your top choice, schedule private tours of the communities that meet your requirements. Bring your family and loved one on the tour and experience the community life at each one you’ve selected. Bring your list of pros and cons and identify if the community fits within this scope of details. Does it resolve some of the cons you were concerned about initially? Does it provide resources that you didn’t know you needed in the first place? Try the food, speak to the other residents and participate in the activities if you can.
Review the experiences together
After you’ve had a chance to experience what a difference a senior community can have on you and your loved one, set aside a recap discussion to see what experiences stood out most to your loved one. Identify what attributes stood out to you and share to your loved one why they matter to you as a family member.
Identify a timeline
If you feel more research still needs to be done, then take a short break from the search and revisit it within a couple of weeks to see if another community would provide the solution you and your loved one are looking for. If you found that one of the communities that met your needs is the right fit, then begin planning with your loved one to set a date for move-in. Thinking backwards can help you identify the right timeline for your family. Start with the move-in date, what would need to happen the day before that? What moving company will you use, what furniture will you be bringing? Do you need to schedule an estate sale to downsize? Do you need to purchase new materials? What about family comforts? Are there things you and your family can do to prepare for the move that will bring a sense of comfort to your loved one in their new home? Then continue working backward to the current moment in time to identify the steps needed to get you started in this process.
Celebrate the move-in day
When it’s time to move your loved one into their new home, celebrate! Get your family together to decorate their home, invite neighboring residents over to meet you and your loved one. Offer freshly baked cookies or a toast to celebrate. Then ensure that you visit your loved one regularly within the first few months of their move so that they feel supported and connected while they set in new roots.
Leave warm surprises
Hide little hidden notes throughout your loved one’s new home for them to find that will bring a smile to their face after you leave. Hiding notes in books or on their bathroom mirror with sweet sayings or fun memories will brighten their day while you’re away.
It’s always very important that you bring to the attention of any senior living community that you research what is most important to you and your loved one to identify if they can meet your needs. Be sure to ask us about scheduling a tour to see if our community is the right fit for your family by contacting us or calling 719.960.4005.