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Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

An illustrious past meets an exceptional future. We are committed to creating meaningful lives of purposeful engagement for every resident as well as those who serve them.

Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

WLR Blog
Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2020

How to talk to mom about senior care

Talking with your parents about moving into senior care may be one of the harder conversations to have. It’s difficult because it represents so much more than merely a change of address. But if they are struggling with health issues or maintaining their daily life, it may eventually become necessary.

Before you begin, it can be helpful to ask them a few questions to gauge how they feel about the subject. The two sides may be closer than you think. If you’re noticing changes in behavior or ability, chances are they have too. They may be worried about how much longer they’ll be able to take care of each other. They may also be afraid to continue living at home alone. Asking them how they’re doing or if they ever think they could use help may give you some clues.

Before you have the official conversation, it helps to define, research and then be able to answer what you believe their concerns may be. Prepare for objections to the idea of moving at first. Most of us fear change and leaving our home to move into a community may appear to be full of unknowns. The more you can clarify the better.

What they may be worried about

If you’re able to talk with them calmly and show them how the move could be positive, eventually they’ll likely see the benefits. Here are a few issues they may be concerned about that you should be ready to address.

  1. No longer living in their home

Wherever they live and however long they’ve been there, this is home to them. If it’s where they raised their children, there is a lot of history as well. Let them know that you understand how hard this will be but that home is wherever they are. Promise that you’ll work together to make sure their new place will be just that.

  1. Losing their independence

This is one fear that almost everyone shares. It’s scary to think someone else can now be in control. Assure them that you’ll only consider places that understand and respect their independence. Let them know that together you’ll find a community where they will still make the decisions about their life, including when to go to bed, when to get up and what they would like to eat.

  1. The end of a meaningful life is near

The point of reference for many people of a certain age is that senior care is for neglected people who no longer have anything to live for. Nothing could be further from the truth today. Show them some examples of what good communities offer and they’ll be pleasantly surprised - especially with the food choices, activities, amenities and the freedom they'll still have.

  1. They’ll miss their old neighborhood

We’re all creatures of habit and if someone has been going to the same church for years or has a favorite store, it can be difficult to leave. Acknowledge that change can be hard. If you can, offer to take them to these familiar places as often as possible. You can even make a standing date to take them out to their favorite restaurant once a month. But remind them how convenient it will also be for them now to live where almost everything they could need will be right outside their door.

The positives of living in a community

There are pros and cons to most everything and leaving home can be difficult. But remind them of how much better life can be.

  1. They’ll no longer be afraid to live alone

Many adult children don’t realize that their parents might have become afraid of living alone. They may have remained silent because they didn’t want to be a bother or be forced to move. But community living can be a big relief when they know that there is always someone there if they ever need help.

  1. They’ll no longer be lonely

As we grow older, it’s easy to self-isolate, especially if there is little family nearby. And if you can no longer drive, it usually becomes harder to go out. But now there will always be someone around if they want the company. And of course, they can also have privacy when they want that as well. It’s nice to have the choice.

Changes in health can more easily go unnoticed if they live alone. They may not know what to do or don’t want to bother anyone so they put off seeing a doctor or getting medical treatment. But by not taking care of the problem, any illness or injury can quickly become more serious. In a community, someone is keeping an eye out.

  1. It’s so easy to stay active

You’ll never live anywhere else where it will be easier to remain actively engaged, both physically and emotionally. You’ll want to be sure the communities you consider have a full social calendar with lots of opportunities for everyone. They should also offer numerous ways to exercise and stay physically fit.

  1. Far from the end, you’ll discover the beginning of a great new life

The right community will offer ample opportunities to expand your interests. Your life will be filled with activities and new friendships. But there will also be chances for quiet time for those who like a more introspective life. Consider only those communities where the freedom to live life the way you want is clearly a priority. 

Westminster at Lake Ridge

At Westminster at Lake Ridge, we’re here to support your choices and encourage you to live the best life that you can, all without the worry or responsibility of maintenance and chores. We can help the parents and their adult children find the best place to call home. We think you’ll discover everything you need at one of our communities, where we maximize your independence and support your highest quality of life..

Please call (703) 794-4631 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.

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