The overall senior population continues to grow at a very progressive rate. As of 2016, around 8.5 percent of the world’s population are either sixty-five or older. This percentage is expected to increase by seventeen percent around the year 2050. The main reason behind this increase in the senior population is because seniors are living longer. Because of this growth, people with senior parents tend to stress over certain decisions. One decision that these people think about is how do they find the right care for their elderly parents.
Bringing Up the Topic of Senior Living
While most adult children and senior-aged parents think that most seniors are fine on their own, there might be a point in a person’s life where they’ll need extra help in their daily lives. Events like small medical issues or ongoing conditions could be an influence on bringing up the subject of senior care. It doesn’t even have to be medical reasons why seniors should think about senior living. It could be social reasons like lack of a social life or not being relative to their surroundings (neighbors, community, etc.).
Still, bringing up the topic can produce some difficulties. Most seniors will bring up a heavy resistance to the idea, making it harder to talk about it in the near future. Since the direct approach is ineffective, there are ways to subtly suggest the idea of senior living care options.
- Start talking about the topic indirectly. By talking about topics or stories related to senior living, your senior-aged parents might be a bit more open to the idea in the future.
- Set the right tone. Eventually the idea of senior living care options will be brought up. During this discussion, listen to your senior-aged parents on their concerns and thoughts about senior living. Make them feel comfortable while talking about issues or questions they bring up. This can include thoughts about finances, medical needs, daily life, and many others. Remember to have a calm yet informative discussion.
- Acknowledge that this may take some time before a decision is made. Choosing a senior living lifestyle is a big decision, so take your time and have multiple talks with your parents.
After some time, and many discussions on why assisted or independent living communities are better for their lifestyle, your parents might make the big step and decide to become a part of a senior living community that suits their needs.
Understanding the Many Available Senior Living Options
Finding the right senior living community for your senior-aged parents can be difficult, as there many things to consider:
- What level of senior health and medical care do your parents need? Do they need the everyday assistance and care (which come from assisted living) or do they want an independent living lifestyle with the assurance of onsite health services?
- Do they prefer to keep to themselves or would they rather have a more social outgoing experience?
- Aside for medical needs, what about their daily needs? Do they need help getting around or getting dressed? Do they need someone there to make them meals or are they able to cook on their own?
Factors like these can hold influence on the senior living options they want to choose. Consider what is needed and decide if independent living or the many different options of assisted living are the best for them.
Assisted living is a great senior living option for those who have difficulty with daily activities like bathing, cooking, and managing medications. Those in assisted living can have an independent lifestyle, while they are receiving specialized care for their needs. This type of care can range from normal daily living assistance to specialized care for ongoing conditions (like Alzheimer’s) that might require skilled nursing and around the clock medical/health monitoring.
Independent living is ideal for seniors who can still live on their own but would enjoy the conveniences to certain services if needed. Services include dining, entertainment, social events and more. In other words, they’re like any other residential communities but offer convenient services for seniors.
Deciding on which Senior Living Option is Best
Because there are many options of both assisted living and independent living, it can be hard to find out which kind of community is best for you or your parents. Thankfully, there are guides online that can help people get a more in-depth look of each kind of senior living that is available to them. In addition to guides, there are tools that ask seniors certain questions about themselves and their daily lives. One tool is the Smart Choices Tool. We invite you and your parents to try out our Smart Choices Tool in order to see which senior living option is most suited for your living styles.
Resources like the Smart Choices Tool can be beneficial in finding which kind of senior living option is best for your parents. It can also help seniors on making the decision of actively seeking out places to move to. Should resources like these helps finalize the decision on whether your parents are ready to take the next step.
The Next Step for Senior Parents
Now that your parents have found out which right kind of senior living care for themselves, it’s time to get more involved with those senior care communities in order to find more about them.
- You and your parents will want to contact these communities either by calling them, contacting them online, or visiting them personally. Regardless of how you contact them, the staff should be able to arrange a schedule tour of their community.
- When you take a tour, make sure to meet with the staff and residents. This way, you and your parents will get to know more about the people that are a part of the community and its social environment.
- At some point of the tour, you and your parents will sit down with one of the community’s team members to discuss further details about the senior living community’s offerings like services, activities, finances, and many other topics. Be sure to get all your questions and concerns answered.
- After the tour, you and your parents should discuss if this was the right community or seek other senior living options they had in mind.
It will take some time and research, but with proper thought and preparation, you and your senior-aged parents can find the right senior living care for themselves and their lifestyle.