If you are helping your mother or father choose a new senior housing facility, then you want to do your best to ease them into making the best decision without them feeling like you are trying to make the decision for them. There are a lot of choices that go into choosing the right independent senior housing facility, and the decisions could overwhelm a person of any age. Follow these tips to helping mom and/or dad choose the right facility that they will enjoy living in for years to come without regrets later in life.
1. Small House or Apartment-style Living
At first thought, seniors who have been living in homes for many years may immediately think that a senior living facility that consists of many small houses is perfect for them. While this type of facility is great for making mom or dad feel as independent as possible, while still getting the extra help they need, be sure to remind them of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of housing.
Small houses do give a great feeling of independence to seniors, but good mobility is important when choosing this style of senior living. Seniors with mobility issues should be reminded that apartment-style living will make it much easier for them to visit neighbors and attend events without having to worry about getting out of their house and into another or a main gathering area with the help of a staff member who may take a few minutes to arrive once called. This challenge is only amplified in areas where there are snowy, icy winters and hot summers where the temperatures can take a toll on their health in just a short period of time.
Apartment-style housing does make it easier for single seniors with mobility issues to get out of their personal space and into gathering spaces more easily. However, if mom and dad are moving into senior housing together, then a small house may be a good option if one of the two can help the less-mobile one travel around the complex. There are typically also phones with direct lines right to the staff of the facility for any medical need your parent has, whether they are in an apartment-type unit or small house, so they can still get the care they need in either type of living situation.
When your mom or dad is set on a small house and you feel like it may not be a great fit in a few years when mobility becomes a larger issue, then it is a good idea to look into senior living facilities that have both types of housing on their premises and that let seniors make moves easily from one to the other if it is needed in the future.
2. Close to Home or Across the Country
It can be all-too-easy to immediately want to talk your senior parent out of moving far from home during retirement, especially if they have always stayed close to home with you and the rest of the family. The news that they want to move to that senior housing facility in a sunny locale that is several states away from you or that little place in the mountains can come as a shock if they never shared those dreams with you or the family before. This can lead to you thinking it is a spur-of-the-moment decision they made that they may later regret.
Before you assume this decision was made rashly, speak to your parents about why they want to move so far away. It may have been a lifelong dream of both of them to live out their golden years in one of these destinations, and they may finally feel like they are able to live out this dream. As much as you may worry, don't try to talk them out of a true dream coming true. Everyone deserves to live out their last years in a place they love.
To make vetting retirement facilities far from home easier, start by gathering all of the information online that you can about all of the facilities in the area your parents would like to live. Then, decide which you all would like to check out in person and plan a weekend trip together touring these facilities. At this point, you and your parents may find one that is perfect for all of their social and medical needs, or your parents may decide that living so far from home is not for them. Either way, in the end, your parents won't be left with regrets and dreams that they feel they may have missed out on.
Helping your parent or parents choose the best senior living facility for them is a task that must be performed carefully. Try your hardest to stay objective and place yourself in your parents' shoes while helping give them the information they may be forgetting when making the choice. Remember to keep their medical and social needs in mind and not to push them too hard in one direction when making a choice unless it is a matter of health and not just what you want.