Moving one’s parents into a senior living facility is a difficult decision for anyone. Before making such an important decision, you and your family should carefully consider all of the factors. Take into account aspects of life such as health and finances. Do your homework if you and your family decide to place your parents in a senior living facility.
Part 1 Recognizing the Appropriate Time to Talk to Your Parents About Moving
1. Chart physical health concerns. Make note of physical ailments that your parents suffer. This could be chronic disorders like COPD, diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure. Consider illnesses like pneumonia, or damage caused by falling or accidents. These are concerns that your parents may not be able to heal completely on their own and may require further assistance of a senior residence.
2. Take note of any mental-health issues. Mental disorders in the elderly can be difficult to identify. Take note of anything out of the ordinary about your parents, such as forgetfulness, depression, or anxiety. These mental disorders can worsen with age, and your parents may need additional help to live a happy and safe life. Symptoms of mental distress include:
Forgetting dates or appointments
Having trouble recalling names
Challenges in planning or solving problems
Difficulty with day-to-day tasks or routines
Difficulty telling time
Unable to visualize images or relationships (For example, picturing or describing concrete items may be difficult.)
Trouble with speech and/or writing
Withdrawal from social activities
Changes in behavior, mood, and/or personality
3. Examine to see if they have difficulty managing their daily activities. According to the National Center for Assisted Living, 54% of seniors aged 85 and up need some assistance with daily tasks. If your parents or loved ones are struggling with the following tasks, it may be time to consider moving them into a senior living facility.
Maintaining a clean house or yard
Tending pets or plants
4. Examine the physical changes. Signs of unkemptness may be the first warning signs of other, more serious medical issues. If you notice a decline in your parents’ appearance, such as changes in cleanliness, you should look into it further.
5. Keep an eye out for financial issues. Humans are living longer lives than ever before. Your parents have not made any financial plans for the future. Medical bills, on the other hand, may make it difficult for your parents to live the retirement they desired. Moving into an assisted living or retirement home, for whatever reason, may alleviate the burden of debt. Insurance companies may even pay for a portion of your living expenses in some cases.
6. Consult with their doctors. If you are already concerned about your parents’ health, you may be able to speak with their doctors and obtain a professional recommendation. They may be able to offer specific medical advice on what is best for your parents.
You can also request a referral to different living facilities or other healthcare options from the doctors.
Part 2 Researching Different Options
1. Take into account in-home healthcare. Moving your parents into a new residence may not always be the best option. If your parents can still live on their own but need help with day-to-day tasks, an in-home health aide or nurse may be the best option for you. These assistants can provide your parents with the assistance they require while keeping them in their most comfortable environment.
2. Investigate personal alarm systems. If you are concerned about your parents’ safety, this may be an option for you. They can be worn on the person to summon assistance in the event of an emergency or accident. If your parents can still maintain a healthy daily lifestyle, this may be a viable option.
3. Investigate retirement communities. Retirement communities come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They can only offer limited assistance, allowing residents to lead relatively independent lives. Alternatively, they can provide individualised care for each resident. Consider what your parents require in order to live a happy and healthy life. Retirement communities can be beneficial not only in terms of physical assistance, but also in terms of providing much-needed social activities.
4. Examine assisted living facilities. As of 2010, over 735,000 people in the United States were living in assisted living facilities. Assisted living is intended for the elderly or disabled who require short-term or long-term health care. It is frequently tailored to the needs of the individual. Consider assisted living if your parents require more assistance than you can provide.
5. Take into account specialised living facilities. Advances in ageing continue to grow as the baby-boomer generation ages. There are now specialty facilities that can provide specialised care to patients suffering from rare disorders. Alzheimer’s patients may have their own wing in assisted living facilities. If your parent has a special need or condition, find out if the facilities you’re considering offer specialised care.
Part 3 Having the Talk
1. Maintain regular contact with your parents. Do not announce the concept out of the blue. If this is the case, your parents are likely to feel betrayed and unwelcome. You should be forthright in expressing your concerns. Introduce yourself in a polite manner. Consider this: “Can we talk about the future, Mom and Dad?”
“I see you’re having difficulty walking down all of these stairs. “Would it be better if you lived somewhere easier to get around?”
“I know you’ve recovered from your broken hip, but [insert sibling’s name] would feel better if you sought additional assistance.”
2. Inquire as to what your parents desire. Perhaps your parents have decided it is time for a change as well. Before making demands or making suggestions, have a heart-to-heart with them about their wants and needs. Consider some of the following discussions for inspiration:
”Have you thought about moving to somewhere you can get more health?”
”Have you considered hiring a home health aide to help out with your diabetes?”
”Where do you see yourself in the next few years?”
3. Maintain your composure. In the heat of rage, no good decision was ever made. The decision to place your parents in senior living should not be made solely by you. Do not try to persuade your parents to accept your point of view without first discussing all of your options and listening to theirs. This may make the idea of relocating more appealing and less combative.
4. Take a logical approach. Researching, reviewing, and presenting facts can help you step back from a highly emotional decision. This could be a difficult time in your and your parents’ lives. Instead of making a decision based solely on emotion, try to examine facts as thoroughly as possible.
5. Disagreements should be respected. Your parents may be reluctant to relocate at first. This is especially true if they have a strong attachment to their current residence. They’ve been there for a long time. Consider putting yourself in your parents’ shoes. Try to be considerate of their wishes and respect what they desire. Given health concerns, this may not always be the case, but consider their point of view.
6. Recognize that you may face opposition. This is a difficult situation. At first, your parents may be vehemently opposed to this. Maintain your cool and keep the conversation going. Remember that you care about them (and they care about you) and that everyone wants the best for everyone involved.
7. Maintain an open mind. There is no reason for a situation to last indefinitely. Conduct research and experiment with various options. If you and your parents do not like the first option you selected, try another one.
Part 4 Convincing Your Parents That Moving is a Good Idea
1. Present the facts. If your parents are resistant to change or relocation, the first step you should take is to compile a list of factual reasons why they should relocate. Try to keep your point of view on this list. Try to present logical reasons to make your parents’ opposition to the move more difficult.
2. You can put your trust in a friend or a family member. If your parents are opposed to the idea of moving, try to enlist the help of a friend or confidant to join the conversation. Perhaps your parent confides in a close sibling or a doctor.
3. Negotiate with your parents. This may not appear to be the best option because you may not see it as your parents agreeing with you. Allow your parents some time to adjust to the situation. “Why don’t you try it for six weeks?” say you. If you don’t like it, we can look into other possibilities.”
“How about this one or this one if you don’t like facility?”
“I understand you don’t want to talk about it right now. We’ll discuss it tomorrow.”
4. Maintain a unified front with all parties involved. If your siblings or other family members are involved in this decision, you must first reach an agreement on the next steps. Presenting more than one solution or point of view may aggravate or worsen the situation.
Part 5 Assisting Your Parents in the Move
1. Stay organized. Moving is a stressful situation for anyone. When you and your family are moving your parents, be sure to stay organized.
Keep copies of important documentation (like birth records, medical records, power of attorney, etc)
Organize items by type (clothes, furniture, personal items, etc)
Keep medications well labeled
Have a list of all medications and doctors
Provide a list of family members’ names, phone numbers, and relation
2. Make a detailed moving schedule. List the dates and times you will be moving so you know exactly what items are involved. Make a copy of this list and distribute it to your parents, movers, doctors, and facility director.
3. Reduce the number of items. Your parents are most likely moving into a much smaller space than they were previously. Your parents may have accumulated a large number of items over the years. Take the time now to go through the items and decide whether to get rid of them, sell them, donate them, or keep them. This task may be overwhelming, so spread it out over a period of time.
4. Clearly label all items. It is critical to label items if your parents are moving into a facility with other residents. You do not want items to be misplaced, stolen, or lost. Label clothing with your initials and personal items with labels. Make sure your valuables are insured and kept in a secure location.
5. Ask what is already available. Before you make the big move, call the facility to ask what has already been provided. Ask about:
Dishes, silverware, kitchen items
Towels, sheets, blankets, etc.
6. Talk about power of attorney. A power of attorney essentially authorises another person to act on your behalf. Before they move, ask your parents if they want to delegate this authority to someone in the family. This can be useful when making financial or medical decisions. This is especially useful in cases of limited health or mobility.
Part 6 Coping with the Move
1. Maintain regular contact. This move may make your parents nervous or anxious. Don’t just leave them to fend for themselves. Maintain regular contact with them via phone or visits while they adjust to their new surroundings.
2. Involve your parents in activities. Talk to the facility director or one of the nurses on staff to find out what activities your parents can participate in. This can help them adjust to their surroundings more quickly and make new friends. This can also help with their health and mobility.
3. Speak with the staff. Learn about the people who are looking after your parents. Know their names and backgrounds. This can help you better understand the care your parents will receive, as well as give the staff a better understanding of their patient’s life.
4. Stop feeling bad about yourself. Making the decision to relocate a parent is not an easy one. You’ve probably been preoccupied with the process and may feel as if you’re abandoning your parent or loved one. Recognize that this is a very real feeling and consider ways to deal with it.
There are numerous online resources available to assist you, including NPR, Forbes, and Time articles.
Professional organisations such as the AARP, CDC, and the National Plan Caring Council have programmes specifically designed to assist families in this situation.
5. Seek therapy or other assistance. If you and your parent are feeling overwhelmed by this situation, consider seeking professional help. This is a significant life change, and both you and your parents must be at ease with it. Consult with doctors who can understand your situation and assist you in developing a coping strategy.
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