You may be feeling overwhelmed with the thought of bringing up the topic of senior living within your family though you know it’s time. Oftentimes it’s an emotionally charged topic. As with all ‘unknowns,’ apprehension can surface, and the thought of giving up ‘home’ may feel like ‘giving up.’ Some elders fear their independence is threatened. Many who are unfamiliar with modern senior living mistakenly equate Independent Living, Assisted Living, Personal Care, or other Senior Living options with a nursing home, and in their day, a nursing home was a miserable fate. Family members may resist accepting the fact that living in the traditional residence is no longer the safe or healthy option. There are so many possible ‘what ifs’ it can be very easy to just continue to put off the discussion. A few questions that can help you explore your loved one’s current living situation include:
- Are there health or safety concerns?
- Does family live nearby for support?
- Are family and/or friends relied upon regularly for routine tasks?
- Is there a strong social support network or is isolation a problem?
- Is proper nutrition and safe exercise a regular part of life?
- Is medication a concern?
- Are memory issues a cause for worry?
- Is mobility compromised?
- Is the home able to be maintained in good shape both physically and financially?
- Is driving a concern?
- Is there regular mental and emotional stimulation?
- Is transportation an issue?
This is by no means a comprehensive list of questions, but the answers to these questions may be enough to help you begin the conversation. We encourage you to discuss these issues with your loved one and other members of your family, as you research different options for caregiving and senior living. Please also research the other links on our website, with additional information about related concerns, including: Where to Start (How to initiate a conversation about Senior Living), Seniors and Driving, and Warning Signs of Memory Loss.