[Updated: January 30, 2023 | Published: January 30, 2023]
Like many older adults, you may hesitate to talk to your adult children about your senior living options.
Change is hard for everyone. It can be uncomfortable at first to talk about growing older and the changes it brings. And it’s common for grown children to have concerns about their parent’s well-being or to be sad about letting go of their childhood home.
Talking about the future takes courage for both you and your adult children. Yet reaching an understanding between family members can set everyone up for successful transitions. For example, opening up conversations about downsizing, relocation dreams, or other long-term plans can become an act of self-care that honors everyone’s perspective and brings you closer together!
Read on for thoughts about opening a dialogue about your senior living options with your adult children.
1. Start Talking Early
Senior living and financial experts agree you should kick off the conversation when you approach your 70s or your adult children hit 40.
Please don’t wait until it’s an emergency to bring up the topic of senior living. It’s essential to have these discussions while you are still healthy and able to make your own decisions.
Introducing the topic early will allow time for a series of open and honest conversations addressing all your options. Everyone involved will have time to think through their feelings and expectations.
2. Be Open and Honest
Depending on family dynamics, you can talk to all your children at once or have individual conversations with different children. You may even need a series of discussions.
You must take the time to explain why you feel that a particular option might be right for you.
Talk openly and honestly with your adult children about your needs and desires. The more honest you are with them, the better prepared they will be when deciding where and how you will live.
3. Consider All Your Options
Today’s seniors have more choices than ever. Some of the most common include:
- Staying in your current home and neighborhood
- Downsizing to a smaller house or apartment
- Relocating to another state
- Sharing a home with other seniors or your adult children
- Moving into a local senior living community like Friendship Village of Dublin.
This AARP article outlines 11 different senior living options, including some that may only be available in larger cities.
Consider all the options available and list the best ones you like. Research each option and map out the pros and cons as you see them.
If you’re leaning toward moving, you’ll want to visit the homes or senior living communities on your list to find out which you like best. Bring your children along for the tour so you can compare notes.
Your adult children may have thoughts and opinions about your situation and living options. Try not to get defensive if their views differ from yours.
Instead, try to understand where they are coming from. Different perspectives may open up new possibilities or solutions that haven’t occurred to you before!
If you decide to move, your adult children may have worries about how you’ll adjust to your new home or how far away it is from other family members.
Reassure them you will remain close and can stay connected with them and the rest of your family.
When everyone is on the same page, you’ll have time to create and implement a plan.
4. Discuss the Costs of Caregiving
If you decide to retire at home, what’s your plan for home healthcare? And who will be your caregiver?
While caregiving can be a labor of love, it’s not without costs.
If an adult child wants to become your caregiver, either in their home or yours, talk about the impact this could have on their health and career.
Research reveals that family members who care for an aging loved one often:
- Experience depression,
- Have less time available to spend with friends and other family members, and
- Sacrifice financially by taking time away from their careers or retiring early.
And according to research by AARP, family caregivers spend an average of 20 percent of their annual income on caregiving expenses. Family caregivers report dipping into savings, cutting back on personal spending, saving less for retirement, taking out loans to make ends meet, and taking time off work.
Consider the Friendship At Home program if you want to age at home without relying on your loved ones. Affiliated with Friendship Village of Dublin, this affordable program redefines aging at home for Columbus seniors.
Friendship At Home provides a personal care coordinator available 24/7 to help you plan for contingencies and arrange home care if you ever need it. It also pays for up to full assisted living and nursing home care in the comfort of your home if medically necessary. Contact Friendship at Home to learn more.
5. Consider the Benefits of Senior Living
Did you know that residents of senior living communities may be happier than those who retire at home? A five-year Age Well Study conducted by Mather Institute and Northwestern University found that residents of amenity-rich communities like Friendship Village of Dublin had average happiness and life satisfaction scores near the top of the range.
Benefits of community living include:
- A maintenance-free lifestyle, with no need to cook, clean, cut grass, or shovel snow
- More opportunities to form friendships and socialize
- A more comprehensive range of planned activities
- More time to pursue hobbies and interests
- Chef-prepared meals
- Fitness centers and personal training
- Increased safety and security
- Housekeeping and transportation
Another benefit of senior living is access to help with daily activities. If you struggle with tasks like cooking, cleaning, and managing medications, having access to support can make a big difference in your quality of life.
Access to medical care is another important consideration. For example, at Friendship Village of Dublin, you can see a senior care specialist at our on-site senior medical practice operated by Central Ohio Primary Care.
If you decide to explore, invite your children to come with you on tours of potential senior living communities. Seeing the amenities and getting a feel for the community can help them better understand your decision.
It’s also a good idea to ask questions and speak with current residents and staff during your tours to get a sense of what it’s like to live in the community.
6. Keep Talking Until You’ve Made a Decision
Talking to adult children about senior living options doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable experience. It’s actually an opportunity for everyone involved to learn something new about each other and to gain insights into what is best for everyone involved in the long run.
By staying positive throughout the process and involving your children in decision-making, you can make it easier for everyone, including yourself!
Once you’ve decided which senior living option is right for you, you’ll all be ready to work together to create a plan for the next phase of your life.
Considering a Move to Senior Living in 2023? Call us today!
The sooner you move, the sooner you can start enjoying all the amenities and benefits our premier lifecare community offers.
And, because only a few of our 30 different independent living floor plans are available at a time, we invite you to join our Future Residents list. That way, you’ll be among the first to know when one of your preferred floor plans becomes available.
If you’re interested in joining our premier LifeCare community in 2023, we invite you to schedule a visit soon using the form below. Or, call 614.426.0334 to speak with one of our residency counselors.