Many seniors want to stay in their home for as long as possible. For some, aging in place is a feasible choice if they are socially engaged, active, and enjoy good health. For some others, things may be a little different. While they might still be able to live alone, their overall health and wellness might limit their activities and social interaction. If your parent is a senior with increasingly limited physical and social abilities, or you feel anxious about them being on their own, it may be time to consider a continuing care retirement community (CCRC). But, how will you have that conversation? It can be a tough one, and you want to handle it with care and sensitivity.
You want your mom to understand that the transition to a CCRC is a gift—a gift of new friends wrapped in a new, vibrant lifestyle. As you broach the subject, you want her to be excited about her next steps, not nervous or anxious. Dad should look forward to making new friends and sharing a laugh over dinner, even though he might not be sitting on the patio that he built a few decades ago. At Wesley Enhanced Living, we welcome our senior residents to a safe, comfortable environment with a new lifestyle that they can enjoy and cherish.
Convincing Your Senior that it’s Time to Move to a CCRC—4 Useful Tips
Starting a conversation about giving up the familiar for the unfamiliar is never easy. Here are four suggestions to get you started as you have this chat with your parents:
- Invest in Your Relationship: Communication is critical in any relationship. Broaching the subject out-of-the-blue can come across as insensitive, especially if your relationship with your loved one has been somewhat strained. Take some time to understand your aging parent. Sit down for some coffee and chat about the good times you had growing up. Ask them about their feelings toward growing older and get a sense of how they envision their Golden Years. Are they often feeling lonely? Do they struggle to enjoy cooking for one person? Do regular chores seem challenging? This time spent together can serve to remind your aging dad or mom that you care about them and their safety. It will also allow you to gauge if they have preferences and specific ideas about where they want to live.
- Gather Your Facts First: The first time you approach the subject of mom moving to a continuing care retirement community, she may bristle at the thought. Then, she will probably give you many reasons why she doesn’t belong in an “old folks’ home.” If you have done your research, you can offer the right information to help put her mind at ease. For example, living in a CCRC doesn’t mean she has to give up her independence. Quite the contrary! She will have many opportunities to expand her social circle, learn new hobbies, and relish nutritious food that she won’t have to cook herself. Yes, she can still go on vacations, and maybe take along her new friends.
- Get Support from Siblings: More than likely, you will get some degree of resistance from your elderly parent. Get help with the discussion by bringing your siblings on board. Sit down as a family and discuss each of your concerns for mom, including her options. Then work together to get mom the help she deserves. If necessary, enlist the services of some individuals she trusts, such as her clergy leader or doctor.
- Ease into the Conversation: It will probably take time to convince your dad to leave the family home. Take different opportunities and several conversations to share your reasons why he should think about making the move to a CCRC. As the talks develop, encourage your dad to visit reputable communities like Wesley Enhanced Living. He can take a tour and see what the seniors love about their CCRC. Building a little each time can help him understand the benefits; he may even be convinced it was his idea all along!
Encourage Mom and Dad to Make their Move to Wesley Enhanced Living
Prevent the stereotypical vision of a retirement home from clouding your mom or dad’s move to their new home-away-from-home. Encourage them to explore the possibilities that await them at a Wesley Enhanced Living community. We offer many opportunities to live life to its fullest with independent living, personal care, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing. Contact us today to see what will work best for your loved one.
Wesley Enhanced Living provides high-quality senior retirement communities for you or your loved ones. Contact one of our Philadelphia area locations and find out why our seniors love where they live. Our staff is happy to discuss your elder’s needs or your own and inform you of our range of services. Virtual tours are now available. Call us today for more information.