As your parents reach retirement and prepare for an exciting new chapter, it’s important to think long-term. One of the biggest choices they’ll make is in regards to their living situation. Are they planning to stay at home even if their care needs change? Do they have a plan for how they will pay for in-home care and maintain their home? Or have they considered moving to a senior living community to enjoy the stability and security such a choice offers?
Though this is a question that must be addressed, the topic can be difficult to broach. If you’re wondering how to get the conversation started with your parents, read on for helpful tips and essential questions to ask.
How to Prepare for the Conversation
The way you approach discussing independent living communities with your parents can contribute to how receptive they are to the idea. Here are a few strategies to keep in mind:
- Do your homework. As Alexander Graham Bell famously said, “Preparation is the key to success.” Research in advance and know the details about the differences between independent living and assisted living communities, the benefits they offer, overall costs and other critical details.
- Pick the right time. A big life decision isn’t something to bring up out of the blue. Set aside specific time in a comfortable, relaxed environment so the conversation doesn’t feel like an ambush.
- Be an active listener. While you might have your own ideas about the best options, carefully listen to your parents’ thoughts and feelings. Understanding where they’re coming from will make things more productive.
- Don’t pressure them. High-pressure tactics are a sure way to put your parents on the defensive. Ultimately this decision is about what’s best for them and their long-term needs.
- Practice patience. Don’t go into the conversation expecting an immediate decision. Most of the time it requires several discussions and some serious reflection. Be patient and let them come to a conclusion in their own time.
6 Questions to Ask Your Parents About Independent Living
Knowing the right questions to ask can help your parents think about the possibilities of moving to an independent living community and their must-have features. Try these six questions to help guide the conversation.
1. Do you ever feel lonely at home?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-fourth of adults 65 and older are considered socially isolated. In fact, loneliness in older adults can lead to increased health risks like heart disease and stroke. If loneliness is a factor for your parents, an independent living community can provide opportunities to build meaningful friendships later in life with others who share the same interests.
2. Do you feel safe at home?
Safety is an important consideration with age. Whether that’s concerns about slipping and falling while doing home maintenance or crime in the neighborhood, an independent living community offers solutions. Independent living communities often include maintenance and landscaping and there are security protocols in place.
3. Do you have a plan if you need a higher level of care?
Studies show that 70% of older adults will need a high level of long-term support and services. Things like family history and current health can be strong indicators to help plan for future needs. If access to care is a high priority, it’s worth looking at Life Care options. This type of senior living community guarantees access to higher levels of health services within that community, no matter how needs change over time.
4. What would be most helpful to get assistance with?
Maintaining a large home can be a lot of work on your own. For many older adults, the private residences offered by independent living communities are much more manageable. Instead of spending time cleaning and fixing issues, your parents can spend that time pursuing their passions.
5. Would finances be easier with a monthly bill for everything?
Another advantage of independent living communities is they consolidate regular expenses into one predictable monthly fee. From select meals at restaurant-style dining venues, access to the fitness center and on-site social programs, most services and amenities are included in their monthly fee.
6. How can I help?
Finding the ideal living situation for your parents is the priority. After sorting through their needs and understanding their challenges, remind them you’re a resource they can rely on. Whether you’re helping to schedule visits or just acting as a sounding board, let them know your desire is to find what’s best for their long-term goals.
Explore Independent Living Options at Friendship Village of South Hills
At Friendship Village of South Hills, our senior independent living community is dedicated to helping residents get the most out of each day. With a maintenance-free lifestyle and helpful services, every individual can spend their time in the ways they find most meaningful.
If you’d like to learn more about what makes our Pittsburgh-area community so special, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us today.