How to Talk to Your Family About Moving to a Retirement Community
If you’re thinking about moving to a senior living community, you may be concerned about how your loved ones will react – but it’s important to plan for your future. Waiting until an unexpected situation or health crisis forces the issue can put extra strain on the decision-making process. Try these tips to get the conversation started while making your family as comfortable as possible with the prospect of your relocation to a retirement community:
When to start talking. Your children may be opposed to the whole idea of your move, so try bringing up the topic a little at a time. If you aren’t sure when to start the conversation, some experts recommend the 40-70 rule. If your children are at least 40 years old or you are at least 70, it’s a good time to begin talking. Be clear about why you want to discuss moving to a continuing care retirement community – being able to enjoy your retirement may be one reason, or you may want your living and healthcare needs taken care of without relying on your children.
Research your options. Before talking to your children, gather information on several different retirement communities in your area, including Independent Living, Assisted Living/Personal Care and Continuing Care Retirement Communities.
- Independent Living Retirement Communities: These types of communities are ideal for active seniors who can care for themselves and live independently. In addition to housekeeping services and home and lawn maintenance, these communities also offer planned social events and activities.
- Assisted Living/Personal Care Retirement Communities: Best suited for retirees who need assistance with personal care, meals and medication management, these types of communities offer a range of housing options from outsized apartments to studio efficiencies. They often include large common areas for residents who want to gather and socialize, as well as various activities to promote maximum independence and wellness. In many states, Assisted Living and Personal Care refer to the same basic kind of community. However, some states require Assisted Living communities to be state certified, which regulates their healthcare services and ensures that residents receive the highest level of care.
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities: The biggest advantage of CCRCs is that they offer several levels of care on one campus. This allows seniors to “age in place” at a residence they can call home, where a continuum of care is available as needed. While services differ among communities, Florida Presbyterian Homes offers Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing Care and Rehabilitation. In addition, each of these community types provides social, recreational and educational opportunities, as well as home maintenance and dining services. CCRCs are especially beneficial for couples who require different levels of care. Both spouses have access to the healthcare services they need, but are still able to spend time together socializing, dining and engaging in community activities.
Since retirement communities vary in price and the services they offer, you may have to look into several options before you find one that meets your requirements.
Pick the right moment. Choose a time when you and your loved ones are rested and feeling well. Make sure to allow plenty of time to discuss different retirement options and to listen to any concerns your children may have.
Make a family decision. When selecting a retirement community, allow your children to be part of the decision-making process. Encourage them to give their opinions freely, and let them ask questions and express their concerns. They will be much more supportive if they feel they played a role in choosing the retirement community that best fits your needs.
Talk it over again. Moving to a retirement community is a big decision, and your family may have to get used to the notion. Remember that you don’t need to make a decision overnight. The important thing is to get everyone thinking and talking about your future plans.