Imagine this.. You are scared, confused, often stressed, losing sleep, not eating well, worrying about what is going to happen tomorrow. I have met with several Seniors over the years, often ones that stay in their home longer than they should.
And often times they describe just those feelings, the feeling of losing control, feeling as though they were a child again. Often times when they begin looking at senior living options, its after the loss of a loved one, or they had a scare or a fall, & can’t remember things as clear like they once did. Often times a family member will get involved and make them start that journey towards Senior Living options. Which can be scary, but often Seniors are relieved once they have made the move.. It’s getting to that part that are the stress filled times.
How to make that an easier transition.
Identify what it is they are wanting in a Senior Community, do they or would they enjoy a more Independent Living feel? Or do they need care now? Dressing, Bathing, & medication management? Begin your search with Assisted living. My recommendation is to have family members or friends, have the conversation now, ask your loved one, what do you want? If home is not the best fit, what would you like in a new home? Friends, Activities, Transportation, Help available by phone or 24/7 nurse? These are all great questions, then begin touring communities, scheduled appointments are always better- here is why.. The person working in sales, is just a regular person like you or I, if they planned x, y, & z for their day, i.e. picking their kid up from school, dr. appointment, mound of paperwork on their desk, the fact that you just walked in- already puts them to a somewhat unhappy place- even though they would never show that to you, but they may not want to go over an hour to discuss all the available options with you, because just like the 5 people before you, they have a lot of things behind the scenes to get too. I have often heard, well I want to catch them when they don’t have their best face on, I always say, you won’t make a decision the 1st visit, so do your due diligence and make the 1st visit count so you can get all the facts up front.
On your first visit, schedule the appointment.. Oh wait did I already say that? Also if you are overwhelmed- get a professional that can help narrow down your search, They can take your financial information and help you decide, price range, services, benefits, and help narrow it down to a few so you are not running everywhere. So schedule the tour, for the 1st visit, don’t bring your loved one with you. Its very overwhelming and for 4-6 communities you can narrow it down to 2. If they are more independent bring them to 4 to make a choice, only 1 per day. Too many options is too many, often times they are stressed with worrying about the financials, getting stuck somewhere, and unhappy with their choice. Plus they are not crazy about moving in the first place.
After you have toured 4-6 places, then reschedule with your top 2. Or go back a 2nd time without a scheduled tour, after hours after 6p.m. just to take a look, talk to some residents see if they like living there.
Reschedule your top 2 and bring your family member, loved Senior one with you and maybe your husband, daughter whoever that can help make the decision, have lunch and talk a brief tour again. Talk over lunch, talk to other residents, if mom likes crocheting, do they have a crochet class, talk to members of that class.
Choosing a community is not as hard as some make it, often the financials put you in 1 catagory or 2, a pay as you go, or a buy in community, the buy ins if you can afford them are wonderful, you get to stay and age in place. If you choose a pay as you go month to month, make sure if you are in Independent living, what is the plan if my loved one needs skilled, assisted, or memory care. If they do not have all of these options available, that is ok, alot of Seniors do have to move again at some point, even if it is just across the hall it is still a move.
The key to all of this is start the conversations now. If they can move right into a community, then sell their home, have an estate sale etc. Make it the easiest transition. Too often Seniors want to do it all and seem like they can but even the most independent, get stressed and anxious about change in their life- which we all do- but often they mask it, and their health begins a decline often if they don’t have a smooth transition.
So get professionals on your side to help become a resource to you!
Contact Sarah Boston
Senior Real Estate Expert
Ask for a FREE copy of the Senior Book- Filled with Resources for you & your loved one!