How to Choose Senior Care for Your Parents
It's not uncommon for older adults or senior citizens to be resistant to the idea of moving into a senior care or assisted living facility. They feel that they will be giving up their independence or sacrificing their quality of life. As a child of a senior citizen, it is often difficult to know how to navigate the process of moving a parent into assisted living. Who gets to decide when the time has come that assisted living is necessary? How do you know which facility or type of care is the best for your aging parent?
Choosing a senior care facility for your parents is a challenging process. In this guide, you will find useful tips and helpful suggestions to aid you as you search for the senior living facility in the Capital Region that meets the needs of your aging parents.
Understand the Role of Emotions
Moving is always a somewhat emotional process, but moving a parent or loved one into an independent living community, assisted living facility, or nursing home can be emotionally taxing. During this process, it is important to try to manage your emotions so that you can better understand and sympathize with the emotions that your parents are likely feeling.
Many individuals feel a sense of guilt when encouraging their parents to downsize or move into a senior living facility. Try to combat these feelings by realizing that you are doing the best thing you can to ensure the safety and well-being of your parents.
Aging is a natural part of life. Someday, your own children may be assisting you. Seek emotional support from siblings and others who have experienced what you are going through. At the same time, try to recognize why your parents may be resisting your efforts and sympathize with them as they come to terms with transitioning into a new phase of life. Help them understand the benefits of downsizing or moving to a location where senior care is more accessible.
Being sympathetic and understanding towards your parents while managing your own emotions is an imperative part of making their transition to senior living as smooth as possible.
Reach Out to Others
There are many other individuals who have gone through this process before you, and who are going through it alongside you. Talk to friends and neighbors - you never know who might have some advice or empathy to offer.
These individuals can be terrific resources. They may know some tips and tricks for navigating this difficult process and they may even be able to advise you about resources that can assist. Those who have had similar experiences may also be able to recommend facilities or communities in and around Albany and the greater Capital Region for you and your loved ones to consider.
Understand Your Parents' Wants & Needs
While you may be the one facilitating the process of moving your parents into a senior care community, it is important that you keep the wants and needs of your parents in mind. They may feel as though they have little control over the process or are losing a significant amount of independence.
While this is often not the case, try to stay in touch with what your parents want and need from the community they will be moving to. It is important that they feel they will be comfortable and happy in their new location. Ensuring that the facility has what they want may help make the transition to senior living much easier and may help your parents to become excited about the change rather than resistant to it.
Conduct Thorough Research
Learn as much as you can about all of the options that are available for your parents. Visit various communities and facilities in the Capital Region and surrounding areas, talk to current residents, read reviews and feedback, and absorb as much information as you possibly can during the decision-making process. Choosing a new home or community is no small decision, and you want to feel confident that you thoroughly understand your options and can select one that is the best fit for your parents.
Make an Informed Decision Together
When it comes down to making a final decision about new living arrangements for your parents, make sure the feelings and opinions of everyone involved are taken into account. Ideally, the burden of the decision should not fall onto just one person - everyone invested in the choice should contribute.
After you've conducted your research and gathered all necessary information, take the following steps to ensure you're making the best possible decision for mom and dad.
- Go over all of the information you have gathered with the family members involved and weigh the pros and cons of each facility or community.
- Establish a clear understanding of what aspects of a new community are most appealing to and necessary for your parents.
- Be sure to address the costs associated with living in each community you are considering.
- Gather more information about anything you feel unsure of or uninformed about.
Lastly, work hard to make sure the final decision is one made together, satisfying your parents' needs and leaving you feeling confident that you've found a place where your parents can maintain the lifestyle they enjoy while surrounded by the care and amenities they need as senior citizens.