As your parent grows older, it is natural for both of you to feel a bit of trepidation about the future. What kind of health challenges lie around the corner? Will there be a change of address, and if so, when? And where? And how much will it all cost?
While many of these unknowns may remain unknown for awhile, the best way to prepare for the next phase of life is to have a plan. You don’t have to get everything figured out in one day, but the sooner you start, the easier the transition will feel. Even taking one small step can do wonders for your loved one’s—and your—peace of mind.
Initiating a conversation about residential care can be tough for both you and your parent. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the reason most seniors experience distress about relocating is the perceived loss of control. By allowing your parent ample time to express their desires, consider choices, and have an active role in determining their future, they will experience a smoother transition. In fact, they may feel so positive about the benefits that await them, that they will want to move sooner rather than later!
Begin to Downsize
Your parent may be overwhelmed by the thought of downsizing. Remind them that they just have to take the process one item at a time, and if they start now, downsizing will not only be manageable, but meaningful. Taking stock of which items to keep and which to hand down, donate, or sell to others, is an opportunity to travel down memory lane while reevaluating and strengthening personal values—and passing joy along to others.
Make Financial Plans
You can also keep financial stresses at bay by—that’s right—planning early and evaluating options. Will your parent fund their living situation privately, draw on home equity, tap into Medicare/Medicaid, or use long-term care insurance? Take the time to plan for different scenarios, scheduling meetings with financial offices as you visit different communities.
Visit a Variety of Communities
Planning ahead, rather than waiting for an emergency to necessitate a move, will increase your parent’s options while decreasing their anxieties about the unknown. While researching different senior living communities, you and your parent can make a chart of preferences, ranging from “non-negotiables” like transportation to medical appointments to special luxuries like onsite movie nights. (Who knows—some luxuries may become non-negotiables!)
One important factor to keep in mind is the continuum of care, often known as “aging in place.” Does the community offer assisted living and memory care for future phases of life? Good Shepherd Home provides residents and their families with the peace of mind of consistency and stability. A senior may move into an independent living villa, then transition to assisted living or nursing care as needs arise, maintaining the comforts of home.
While brochures and websites can provide a good idea of what a community has to offer, you will not get a true sense of the atmosphere until you visit in person. Schedule your visit to Good Shepherd Home today.