Have you noticed your parents beginning to struggle with a few of the basic daily tasks of living? Are they having a difficult time bathing safely and dressing? Has keeping up with the laundry or preparing healthy meals become more difficult?
If so, you may be discussing the option of moving to a senior living community.
If your parents are hesitant or expressing concerns, it’s not uncommon. But you can encourage them to understand the benefits of senior living. With a little patience and education, they can begin to see how a community can help them live their best lives.
Fears about senior living
While pointing out the advantages of community life, it’s also important, and often more effective, to be direct when addressing the fears that your parents may have.
Consider the following common fears that older adults often experience and how you can best address these with your parents:
Fear #1: Losing independence
The number one fear of seniors is often that they’ll lose their independence if they leave their home and move into a senior living community.
However, gaining self-reliance is more likely to happen. Explain to your parents that having a helping hand will actually contribute to their independence. They’ll no longer need to rely on family and friends, who can relinquish their caregiving roles.
Fear #2: Not feeling at home
Many seniors worry they won’t feel at home once they move. They may fear that community life will be like living in a facility and that they will lose their privacy and autonomy they had at home.
Help your parents understand that they will have a private residence. Communities encourage new residents to personalize and make this space their own home. Discuss ideas of how together you can create this experience.
Fear #3: Having someone else helping them
Your parents may be concerned that they’ll be uncomfortable having a stranger help them with their daily tasks. Assisted living communities take care to hire and train a compassionate staff who is knowledgeable and knows how to provide a helping hand while maintaining the resident’s respect and dignity. And they will soon become trusted companions.
Fear #4: Losing the freedom of making daily choices
Your parents may be worried that once they move they will be required to adapt to the community’s daily life whether it is of interest to them.
Explain that they will have the freedom to choose any activities or social events they want to participate in. Although communities strive to provide a wide selection to appeal to many, if your parents would rather stay at home, that is always their choice.
Fear #5: Feeling lonely or not having friends
Your parents may worry about experiencing more loneliness if they move. It’s understandable they have these concerns because the unknown is always a little unsettling.
However, your parents should know they will likely have more friends once they move. There are so many opportunities to meet the other residents they have so much in common with that they’ll soon find themselves forming friendships.
Fear #6: Becoming more dependent
Many older adults fear that they will become more dependent and will decline or age faster because they’ll begin relying more on help instead of staying active.
A community promotes its residents to be independent and to feel in control of their lives. In fact, your loved ones may be surprised at the regained strength, balance and energy once they are able to exercise and eat healthy once again.
Fear #7: Will miss seeing family and friends
Some seniors worry that they won’t see their families and friends as much as they once did if they move into a senior living community.
What they may discover instead is that they will now have more opportunities to spend quality time with their loved ones sharing fun and pleasurable activities since they no longer need to also provide the services of caregiving.
Fear #8: Will lose their purpose
Many older adults see a move to a community as the end of an active life and that they will lose the purpose they had when they lived at home.
Discuss with your parents how they will actually have more opportunities to stay active and engaged in life, especially if mobility or transportation was becoming a challenge. Communities provide several avenues for their residents to remain involved and live their purpose.
Life at a Milestone Community
If you’re looking at options for retirement living, we invite your family to visit one of our Milestone communities - designed to support your loved ones to live their highest quality of life.
We offer studio and one-bedroom private apartments for our assisted living residents as well as private or shared memory care suites for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Our memory care residents are cared for by our compassionate and specially trained team - who meet them wherever they are in their journey with patience and kindness. The residents also have access to customized activities, programs and an elevated secured courtyard.
Our amenities and services encourage our residents in assisted living to engage with others, remain as independent as possible and be reassured that help is available whenever needed.
In addition to our personalized services, we offer:
- Chef-prepared meals
- Full-service dining room and bistro/bar
- Clubroom with large screen and theater style seating
- Family gathering room
- Rooftop courtyard including outdoor kitchen and firepit
- Resident accessible chef’s kitchen garden
- Senior-inspired fitness center
- Hair and nail salon
- Resident-shared laundry rooms
- Elegantly designed common areas
- 24-hour on-duty care staff
- Scheduled transportation
- Secured community
- Direct access to adjoining walking paths and parks
If your family is considering retirement living, we hope you will visit one of our communities. We are a trusted resource and are here to answer any questions. Please contact us with any questions you may have or to arrange a personal tour.