Don’t Wait – Making the Move to Senior Living

Why you shouldn’t wait… for the other shoe to drop - being proactive about making the move to senior living and the importance of not waiting.

Why you shouldn’t wait… for the other shoe to drop – being proactive about making the move to senior living and the importance of not waiting.

So often when it comes to making the decision to move mom or dad into one of our communities, the biggest pushback we get is it not being the right time, or feeling like we can wait just a little longer.

Families find themselves waiting, ‘for the other shoe to drop’ before feeling like they need to make the move to senior living.

Let’s talk about some of these ‘shoes’ that people find themselves waiting to drop. Are any of these situations familiar to you?

  • Nothing has happened in a while with mom living at home and she’s recovered pretty well from her last fall so we can wait another few months before making the decision.
  • Dad had been eating too many microwavable meals, but we got him set up with a meal delivery system, so he should be good for a little while.
  • Dad was growing a little tired of caring for mom, but we brought in home care a few days a week and things seem to be better.

What’s one common theme we see with all of these examples?

We are waiting for the next unfortunate event to happen that will require us to consider senior living because our loved one isn’t safe at home.

Deciding it’s time to move into a senior living community and then finding the best one for your mom or dad or mom and dad is an emotional process. Often, if we wait for the other shoe to drop before moving into senior living – we invite added stress to the process.

What are these added stressors? The biggest one is timing.

Deciding on the right senior living community for your loved one should be a well thought out and researched process and not one that comes with a discharge date timeline.

Sometimes waiting too long means that instead of moving from their home, your loved one moves from a rehab.

Often we may have families dealing with a situation like the one below:

  • Mom/dad is being discharged from rehab on a specific date – now you need to find a community by the discharge date.
  • To help with paying for senior living you need to sell mom/dads house – which means you need to pack it up and get it ready to put on the market.
  • You still have to make sure mom/dad knows that assisted living is the best choice for them, except now you need to have that conversation before they are discharged.
  • You want to make sure mom/dads new apartment feels like home so you want to be the one to set up the apartment – again before they are discharged.

Suddenly that other shoe that you’ve been waiting to drop is tied to 5 more shoes and you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with where to start the process.

So how do we avoid the sneaker tied to 5 other shoes?

Don’t be looking at them, and waiting for them to fall, be proactive with either making the move earlier or having a solid plan in place incase something happens.

Have a Solid Plan in Place

Maybe the idea of making the move proactively is a little intimidating to you, if that is the case it is important to have a solid plan in place in case something does happen.

Questions to think about:

  • Have you had the talk with your parents about why senior living might be a good option? For tips on how to start this conversation, read our blog- How to Have the Talk.
  • Have you reviewed finances and have a good idea what your loved one can afford?
  • Have you thought about what is important to you and your loved one when it comes to finding the right community? Location, cost, programs, care services, etc.

Knowing the answers to questions like these will make it easier to make the best decision, that everyone agrees upon, if the time comes and things need to move quickly.

Benefits of being Proactive and Making the Move:

  • Downsizing with your loved one and not for them– downsizing is an emotional experience so being able to do it over time will ensure that if things get too emotional you can take a break. Read our blog about downsizing to learn more.
  • Improved socialization- by spending time visiting the community before moving in, you have the opportunity to meet new friends who share similar interests. Living in a community will open the door to experience new activities and events with new friends. Often those living at home are restricted to getting a ride somewhere or only going out in the day time. Life in a senior living community offers endless opportunities to socialize among friends.
    • Something to think about – living with a spouse should not be the only social interaction your loved ones have. Often times we might think, ‘well, my parents have each other’. People need more than their spouse to socialize successfully.

Maybe the most beneficial part of making the move proactively- you control the timeline!

  • Being able to take the time to visit a variety of communities and experience programs or meals at each is a great way to ensure you are making the best decision for you or your loved one.
  • Having the tough conversations when you are well prepared and not under stress- this may be a way to limit the arguments about the topic.
  • Making the apartment home – having the time to set up your new apartment and making it feel just like home for your loved one.

If you are waiting for the other shoe to drop when it comes to your loved one and making the move to senior living, we encourage you to be proactive, even if it’s one small step at a time. Start by having those tough conversations with your loved one, set aside some time to start the downsizing process and take it slowly, visit a community for a meal or a program. These small steps can make a world of difference when it comes to being prepared when it’s time to make the move.

We’re here to answer any of your questions. Please contact us if we can provide further information or if you would like to schedule a personalized tour. Download our complimentary Family Decision Toolkit.




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