With New Year’s resolutions humming, we reflect on the fantastic year we’ve had, and the new year just around the corner. We look forward to seeing the many familiar smiling faces and meeting the new ones that will join our Regency family in 2017. For several of our new residents, the new year may bring an unexpected move into assisted living. To lessen the likelihood of an unexpected move, experts suggest planning for the future ahead of time, especially for those who do not agree to the idea of senior living. In this month’s blog, we look at three ways to help aging parents and their loved ones overcome objections to senior care changes, as well as solutions for achieving harmony.
1. Research: Before discussing the idea of assisted living with loved ones who object to senior care, it’s important to research the facts first. Do some individual research to find multiple options. Despite defensive feelings regarding senior care, an aging senior parent or loved one is more likely to be responsive to a difficult conversation about the future if framed properly. Providing ample facts and advice from a doctor or other professional may convince your loved one to reconsider. When researching, consider the following:
- Evaluate your loved ones needs
- Examine their wellbeing and physical appearance
- Consult with a professional
2. Offer Multiple Options: This will allow your loved ones to choose the option that works best for them, and to feel less forced when the time comes to move. Following your research, present them with multiple options. Begin by explaining your concerns about living at home without proper care. Senior living specialists say to stay positive by keeping the discussion brief and concise. Tip: sit down with your loved ones and list the pros and downs for each option. Discussing the pros and cons will help you pick the best senior care option for you and your family.
3. Demonstrate Patience and Understanding: It’s completely normal for seniors to raise concerns about assisted living, for fear of the unknown. Don’t force senior loved ones into making a quick decision on the spot, as this can easily cause anxiety and hurt feelings. It is best to start slow, and have patience and understanding because a decision will likely not happen overnight. Take the time to listen to your loved ones and show empathy. If not, conflicts can arise and people often find themselves talking down to one another instead of listening. Senior care specialist Debra Feldman recommends having patience and understanding in situations which may take time to fully resolve.
The discussion of assisted living and estate planning is never easy, but once planned can be a great relief rather than waiting for the “when” and “if” situations that can arise. While avoiding the topic may seem easier or keep the peace, family members should always convey concerns to an aging parent who may require the assistance of a caregiver. When convincing an incorrigible parent to consider the idea of senior care, do not hide any information from them. Be open, upfront, and honest about the process. Otherwise, they will feel as if it is a forced migration. Remember to include them in every step if possible. Suggest visiting the assisted living community, visit an open house event, or schedule a sit down with a senior placement specialist. If your loved ones are not able to take a tour, we encourage you to come, take pictures, and share your experience with them.
In the event that you choose to discuss your senior care options with one of our Regency consultants, we are always here for you and to answer any questions you may have. We would love to have you visit us and to welcome you into our Regency family.
Written by: Katie Hanley