After a long and often gray winter, it is wonderful to start seeing green again – whether it is the lively colors of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, the first signs of daffodils and tulips, or early Easter decorations. Spring is rightly associated with fresh starts and new beginnings, and so it might well be a good time to discuss senior living options for the older individual or couple in your life.
Many families have seen a senior loved one’s health decline over the course of winter, or watched with concern as “the house seems to be getting away from Mom and Dad’s ability to keep up with it.” Hence, spring might be the time to suggest a fresh look at senior living options available in your area.
Here are three tips to keep in mind if you are trying to convince a senior to move or are merely attempting to bring up this sometimes-delicate subject:
1. Do not use words such as “nursing home” or “facility” or “institution” during a conversation with the senior. Instead, use the words “retirement community”, “continuing care retirement community, or “alternative living option.” A lot of seniors have awful memories of a loved one living in an old-time nursing home, with few- to-zero amenities, and little sophistication with regard to geriatric needs. Your older loved one might not realize how senior living communities have changed. They are not your Grandma’s nursing home anymore!
2. Remember, you cannot force a senior into making a move until he or she is ready, and often it will take a crisis to make them realize they have to do it. Before founding ADSLA, I served as Admissions Director for an outstanding retirement community, and yet placement never worked out when the senior was forced. When the senior warms up to the idea of moving to a more supportive environment, make appointments to get advice and see some communities immediately.
3. Do not tell the senior that he or she will be better off with people of the same age. The immediate response will likely be, “I don’t want to sit around with a bunch of old people.” Instead, you may want to try something like, “You might enjoy being around people who have interests and backgrounds similar to yours.”
Warmer, brighter weather makes the prospect of transitioning to a new community much less daunting, because – let’s face it – who really wants to move in ice and snow? ADSLA cannot guarantee that a senior will be perfectly receptive to discussions of a fresh start this spring, but we can offer expert advice and information designed to help you and your loved one(s) find the optimal living environment for yet another new season in life.
For all of your senior living needs please contact Andrea Donovan Senior Living Advisors at (708) 415-2934, or visit out web site at www.chicagoseniorlivingadvisors.com.