For adult children with aging parents, broaching the subject of moving from the family home can be incredibly difficult. When children live a great distance away, it makes medical issues that may arise much more difficult (and expensive) to deal with. Though moving to an Assisted Living setting may seem like a logical step, be prepared to face resistance. Understand that there may be fear behind that resistance to move. Those fears can include loss of memories, loss of independence, loss of friends and neighbors, and fear of mortality.
Most can agree that if you have lived in a home for years and even decades that the home holds countless memories of good and bad times. Leaving that behind would cause anyone anxiety, particularly if when you move you can’t keep everything you have. Be thoughtful about such concerns. Focus on the pros of moving, such as no household upkeep and easier mobility.
Aging seniors’ biggest fear is loss of independence; that they will no longer be considered capable of making decisions. If home care is simply not a viable option, remember that with Assisted Living you could take advantage of a myriad of services such as transportation, meals, social activities and health services if needed. If there is an emergency, someone is nearby to offer immediate assistance. You can choose the level of assistance based upon your needs. You can live your life, and schedule your comings and goings. Remind your parent of your own fears of being far away, and that having emergency services available where they are living is a safer, stress free way to live.
Your parent could possibly be afraid that they will no longer see friends or neighbors. Perhaps they even worry about a neighbor and fear that if they are not around, no one will look after them. In some cases you may find there are already friends living in an Assisted Living facility. Also, remember that if your trips are scheduled around pleasure visits instead of emergency medical issues (like mom falling down and needing to be in the hospital for a while) that everyone will feel more at ease.
Most importantly, moving on away from the life you have had for so long brings our human mortality to the forefront. Just because you are older doesn’t make the inevitability of the end of life any easier. Your parents may be thinking that this move is their last step towards the end. This can be a very sad time – particularly if there has been a loss of a spouse, and loss of friends. Remind your loved one that your intentions are for them to live the best life possible for them. A change in the living environment may be what is necessary to make such a life possible.
Broaching the subject of moving is difficult, and takes many conversations. Hiring a local Geriatric Care Manager to investigate the best options for your loved one is a wise investment, saving you time and worry. A Geriatric Care Manager can be that sounding board for you and your parent, providing answers to the myriad of questions and concerns that are bound to surface. A Geriatric Care Manager makes it their life’s work to advocate for the elders of our society, and is therefore a valuable asset for any long-term care decisions.
For help navigating elder care in South Florida, visit www.caremanage.com. We provide Geriatric Care Management services throughout Miami, Palm Beach and Broward.