Beginning the Conversation

Beginning Conversations on Modern Aging Options for your Loved Ones

When you are first noticing little changes to normal activity, a cognitive decline, or beginning of mobility challenges it can be hard to accept for oneself, let alone approach the topic with a loved one. At first, you may not think that it’s serious enough to worry about, but understand that this is a part of the process that all encounter. When you start to help make accommodation for a loved one you eventually will begin to realize that you need to have a conversation about planning to potentially find the right place within a Modern Aging Community.

This conversation is one that many people with aging loved ones and family of choice dread. And it can be hard for that person, too. They may not have had time yet to accept their changing needs, or they may feel frightened about what the future holds. 

You have a resource at your fingertips.  The Team at Tailored Advisory Solutions have helped countless families navigate this change with an eye on the positives. We are providing some recommendations for starting a meaningful discussion about senior aging options with a loved one. 

Conversations – Making a plan and being Prepared

You’re already here, reading up on resources, so that’s a great first step. Being prepared for the potentially difficult conversation ahead can help make it less stressful and frustrating for everyone. Think about why you want to have this conversation in the first place. After all, you wouldn’t be thinking about it without a good reason. 

We recommend starting with a list of concerns and observations. Have you noticed that your parent is having trouble with activities of daily living like getting dressed? Has your relative recently been in the hospital and sent home with extensive care instructions? Take thorough notes and consider talking with other family members to get their perspectives. 

 Conversation Ice Breakers

Oftentimes, the hardest part of the senior care transition conversation is simply starting it.  With each loved one there are individual ways to open the door to discussion, and the most productive ones share a few characteristics. Start with open-ended questions that encourage more than a yes-or-no answer and focus on your loved one. Make it about their needs, maintaining independence and personal comfort. 

A few examples of conversation Ice breakers are: 

  • How are you feeling about living at home by yourself?
  • What have your social activities been like as of late? Would it be nice to be closer to people with like interests?
  • How have you been managing with your medications?  (Or any other aspect of their daily life & wellness that you are concerned about.)
  • Do you have a plan or preference in communities or locations you would like to go to if you need it?
  • Would things be less stressful if you didn’t have to worry about taking care of the household tasks/ Driving alone for errands/ If you knew someone was just a few steps away if you needed any help?

It is never too early to make a plan, so start the conversation early and keep set goals

Don’t feel like you must get everything settled in one conversation. Leave room to plant the seed and get them thinking. The less pressure you put on your loved one, the more receptive they are likely to be to the idea of transitioning to senior living.

Families don’t always have the opportunity to have this conversation ahead of time. Sometimes, decisions must be made quickly after an emergent crisis, like an injury, illness, hospitalization or death of a Spouse. So, if you can, start talking as soon as possible. The earlier you can come to an understanding of your loved one’s needs, preferences, and desires, the easier it will be to make a plan that everyone agrees with.

It is never too early to make a plan, so start the conversation early and keep set goals

When you practice the art of listening to listen it can be most helpful, as like you, your loved one is grappling with some deeply felt emotions. It’s important to hear out any frustrations, objections, and fears about this next chapter in living space and change. Let them know you respect their feelings. Ultimately, the decision is theirs. But if you can show them that you understand and hear their concerns and that you’re coming from a place of love, you can more easily express the feelings you have of concern from a loving and caring perspective.

It is never too early to make a plan, so start the conversation early and keep set goals

The fear of a loss of independence is the primary reason that many people do not make, or even start a plan. Unfortunately, many well-meaning family members who try to get their point across first by laying out all the negatives can exacerbate these fears. Concentrate on the benefits that can come from being in a Modern Aging location. Focus on areas that may contain hurtles that can be easily managed without any loss of independence to your loved one. 

Keep a calm, positive tone throughout the conversation. Keep a list of benefits in mind that you can return to as touch points throughout different conversations with your loved one.

Maintaining Patience with your loved one

When change is needed to ensure safety and security often emotions are running on overdrive. When this is the case as we are human, it’s easy to lose patience. We are usually blind to our own situations so in this process it is not uncommon to see the clear benefits of deciding, but to your loved one this can feel like the ultimate loss of independence and the reaction if more of a fight or flight. During these time periods kindness, patience and more patience with your loved one will help you keep the temperature of the conversation cool and assist in coming to a mutual agreement. If you aren’t in a time-sensitive or unsafe situation start the conversations with the small details first before tackling larger discussions.

Plan Modern Aging tours together with Tailored Advisory Solutions

It’s important that your loved one is included in the process as well as any key decision makers. Working together with an Advisor who can help with scheduling tours and provide answers to questions along the way can support making the visits smoother and enjoyable for both you and your loved ones.  Seeing a community in person is paramount in making a decision that fits all your individual needs and likes, as it gives your loved one a chance to know whether they can see themselves living there. Often a loved one will have a misconception of what a Modern Aging location can be like as old institutional images may still be the most recent interaction your loved one has experienced. Your loved one may even begin to get excited about a positive change, especially when they can see themselves living in the location you viewed together.

Get In Touch With A Tailored Advisory Solutions Senior Advisor

From helping families understand the level of care their loved one needs to providing support on key dates in the move, The Team at Tailored Advisory Solutions is there for you as a resource and navigator for best benefits in each decision. There are many options in the Modern Aging environment and your Family Advisor will be there to help tailor the experience to match your schedule and lifestyle, and with no cost to you in most cases.

If your loved one needs some assistance, and you are making decisions on where to begin reach out to Tailored Advisory Solutions Today.

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