Top Ten Ideas For Approaching Your Loved Ones About Transitioning From Home To A Senior Community

Issue 25.13

10. Start early, before a crisis happens.

Too many times, family members become so hesitant about this traumatic change that they wait, then something even more traumatic happens, (as in mom or dad falls) and now this important decision must instantly be made under duress.

9. Educate yourself before approaching the Loved One.

Shopping for assisted living is a lot like shoe shopping- one must shop until one finds the right community (that fits the loved ones, not the family’s needs).  Shop properties, to weed out ones that are not workable, then have the loved one visit the selected properties to help make the final decision.

8. Bring in other family members.

Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a team to help a loved one adjust to this major decision. After the team is created and ready to build a healthy support system, bring “the team,” together to lend the loved one support.

7. Use “I” rather than “you”.

Express feelings rather than thoughts and opinions, using dialogue that personally expresses these feelings and does not involve finger pointing.

6. Bring up loved ones friends who have had successful experiences transitioning.

Provide reassurance that senior transitioning works by bringing up success stories.

5. Put yourself in you loved ones shoes.

Be empathetic to senior’s traumatic situation by putting yourself in his or her shoes. Help him or her go through the grieving process (shock, anger, bargaining, sorrow, and acceptance) which typically accompanies this situation.

4. Make sure the conversation is two-way.

Make sure to include the senior in the discussion. Ask questions and help the senior feel like he or she is part of the decision-making process.

3. Have confidence in the training the assisted living staff receives when it comes to senior transitioning, then transfer this confidence to the senior.

Many times, the family members can be just as afraid of “the next step” as the senior is.
Educate one’s self on the safety and security of a senior community, then become educated as to how much staff is trained to help the senior, then share this confidence with the senior.

2. If Senior is in a non-home environment (a hospital or rehab), this can be the ideal time to make transition.

Because seniors want to stay in their home, one of the most ideal times to make this transition is when a senior is not in his or her home.

Have a doctor suggest the transition.

Because family members can be so emotionally tied to one another, oftentimes the best person to suggest this transition is a physician who can logically explain why this decision is necessary. (Call doctor before-hand to give him or her heads up as to what direction the visit needs to go.

Tiphanie Scott can be contacted at Spring Gardens Senior Living, 435-688-1622.

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