Start an Ongoing Positive Conversation
Before approaching your parent to talk about senior living options, get other siblings or family members involved whenever possible. Together you can determine the best way to approach your parent.
It’s often best to begin conversations lightly. It is important that your parent does not feel you have already made a decision. Explain your ongoing concerns with living alone, including safety and quality of life.
It is important to understand your parent’s concerns so you know what to share from your research. Slowly share more information in comfortable conversations. Remember that it took time to research all the options, so don’t be rushed and overwhelm your parent with too much too soon. Answer questions and guide your parent to a decision they make.
Listen to your parent’s concerns about living alone. Understand what his or her perceptions may be about retirement communities. It is a good time to put concerns to rest and dispel any myths or misconceptions.
Some common misconceptions and myths include:
“I won’t be able to maintain my independent lifestyle.”
The options under consideration are likely to be independent living environments. This allows residents to live as independently as they do at home. With your local research in hand, you can review different levels of independence with your parent and discuss together what it means.
At Proctor Place, we help people live independently as long as possible. We know this means having choices. We provide the assistance our residents want. Some of our residents prefer to keep doing the everyday chores like laundry and housekeeping that help them feel independent. Others prefer we take care of it. The choice is completely theirs.
“I may have to sit at the same table with the same people for every meal.”
All retirement communities handle mealtime differently, so it is important to understand the differences. Some places do have assigned seating, which limits residents’ flexibility at mealtime. When your table, seat, and exact time is selected for you, it’s easy to understand how that feels less than independent.
At Proctor Place, we understand the importance of making your own choices. We never impose assigned seats for mealtime. Our residents are free to sit where they want in our dining room or cafes.
“Everyone there will be so much older than me.”
If the senior living option being considered includes independent living, the residents’ average age is likely younger than you think.
Remind your parent that we all tend to view ourselves as younger than we actually are. When we were 10, we all thought being 30 was old!
That same wishful thinking follows us through life so although your parent may be 75, when she or she sees others who are 75, they may appear much older. Ideally, introduce your parent to someone the same age at the community you are considering. Of course, reinforce that retirement living is not the same as nursing home living. Senior living communities like Proctor Place are active and thriving communities designed to provide new joy for life and retirement.
Our residents are young at heart. They are active seniors enjoying the best years of their lives.
“There will be nothing to do.”
Get a calendar of activities and review them together. At Proctor Place, we publish a list of daily activities every day. There is always something going on here. Our residents participate in as little or as much as they prefer. To help new residents settle in, we have gatherings to help people get to know their neighbors and understand all the activities offered. There’s something for everyone here. The one thing you will never have here is nothing to do.