Fact vs Fiction: The Truth About Senior Living
The best weapon against uncertainty is information.
Before you attempt to have a talk with your parents, you must have a talk with yourself—about what senior living communities are, what they offer and why your parents should consider moving to one. The more homework you do ahead of time, the better prepared you’ll be to make a compelling case to your parents when you speak with them.
To lay good groundwork, you must have the facts.
Separate fact from fiction.
Thanks to television shows and movies that are based on old stereotypes and outdated models of care, you and your parents probably have preconceived notions about what a senior living community is. Before you broach the subject, therefore, it’s important to understand what senior housing is all about.
First and foremost, you should know that a senior living community is not a nursing home, and that senior housing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. In fact, senior housing today is all about flexibility and choice—giving seniors and their families a wide variety of options to suit their unique needs, circumstances and objectives.
“I’m going to lose my independence.”
Communities are designed to provide just the right amount of support and assistance to help you live life to the fullest.
“There is no place like home.”
Residents enjoy convenience and comfort of lush green landscaping, beautifully decorated interiors, spacious accommodations and amenities such as pools, fitness centers, restaurant-style dining, and housekeeping and laundry services. No more home maintenance or yard work!
“I’m too old to make new friends and try new things.”
Most communities have a dedicated program director and monthly calendars filled with clubs, classes, events, outings where you can meet and engage with other residents.
Most Common Fears for Seniors
If you’re considering senior living for your love one, it’s important that you don’t approach the move from a purely practical standpoint. This is an emotional time with common fears that include:
- Loss of independence
- Failing health, particularly memory
- Running out of money
- Having to leave their home
- Losing loved ones
- Having to depend on others
- Not being able to drive
- Being isolated and lonely
- Falling or becoming incapacitated
Take these fears to heart as your family discusses the future together. Showing empathy and patience will provide comfort that you’re on their side, can strengthen your relationship and even help them warm up to the idea of moving.
Playing up the Positive
Yes, there are the fears, but what about the gains? It’s just as important to make sure your loved one knows exactly what they have to look forward to. In many ways, it can truly be a new beginning. Here are the facts:
- The environment fosters independence.
- The lifestyle is worry-free.
- Loneliness is a no-go.
- You can still be you.