You’ve probably had a lot of difficult conversations with your parents, but one that most people don’t prepare for is the conversation about senior living options, in particular senior housing in Westlake. This topic can be difficult to approach because seniors view it as a blow to their independence. They don’t want to be forced out of their homes and have to accept help – and they often don’t like hearing this from their own children.
However, having this conversation at the right time can help extend your parents’ independence and improve their social life. How you present the facts makes all the difference in how your parents receive the news. After working with many families on this life transition, we have some helpful tips on how to talk to your parents about senior living.
Preparing for the Conversation
To steer the conversation in the right direction, talk positively about assisted living in Westlake and address your parents’ concerns. To be effective, you’ll need to do your research beforehand and be well-educated on your options.
- Create a list of concerns. List out the reasons why you are worried about your parents staying in their home. Are they having health problems? Have they already suffered an accident? Are they not taking their medications properly?
- Educate yourself. Learn about the different options for senior housing in LA county and which one will best fit your parents’ needs. Be honest about their condition and how they might progress over the next few years.
- Assess their finances. Try to get as much financial information from your parents as you can because their savings determine their options for senior living. Some people have long-term care insurance and savings while others rely on Social Security and life insurance.
Gathering all of this information will give you the confidence you need to start this conversation and encourage your parents on their journey. There are a many decisions to be made when choosing assisted living or memory care in Westlake, so the more information you have, the better.
Starting the Conversation
When you have the necessary information, pick a time to speak with your parents. Don’t put it off as this can delay your parents’ care. In our experience, it’s much easier to plan accordingly and make decisions when Mom and Dad are feeling their best and can join in the planning process.
- Talk in person, if possible. If you can have a face-to-face conversation, great. If not, set up a video call so that you can see each other during the discussion. Choose a time when you and your parents are both well rested and won’t be interrupted.
- Listen to your parents’ concerns. It’s likely that your parents are going to have concerns, even if they are on board with moving to assisted living in Thousand Oaks or Westlake areas. Acknowledge these concerns and try to address them as best you can. This is a big adjustment and it’s important to validate your parents’ feelings.
- Practice empathy. Getting older isn’t always easy, and this is just one of the many transitions your parents will have to accept. Practice empathy. Put yourself in their shoes and understand where they’re coming from.
- Don’t rush. This is another benefit to having the conversation early – you don’t have to rush. Give your parents a few days to process things and reach out a few days later. For most families, planning for assisted living is a longer term process and not a one-and-done conversation.
Arrange Visits to Various Westlake Senior Retirement Communities
The next step is to start looking at brochures, websites, videos, etc. of the communities you’re interested in. Narrow down your search and tour at least three communities either in-person or online. It helps to see the community, speak with residents and staff and get a feel for the culture. This way, your parents can envision themselves living in the community.
- What do your parents want to see in their apartment? Do they want one bedroom or two? A kitchenette for snacks and coffee? Amenities like internet, cable and modern appliances?
- Where do your parents want to live? Do they want to stay in a particular area so that they’re close to their friends and grandkids? Do they plan on keeping their car and driving?
- What types of activities do your parents enjoy? Do they prefer planned activities and scheduled outings? Will the center’s social calendar fulfill these needs?
- How do your parents stay active? Does the community have an outdoor area and walking paths? Do they provide exercise classes and transportation outside of the community?
- What do your parents like to eat? And when? Does the community offer a wide range of dining options, as well as the flexibility to eat when they want? Or do they have planned meal times?
These are just some of the things to discuss with your parents to get a feel for the type of senior housing in LA county that best fits their needs and desires. You’ll also want to follow up with other questions such as staffing ratios, safety and security measures, experience with memory care and end-of-life services.
Varenita of Westlake, an assisted living and memory care community, offers luxury living options to those looking for senior living in California. Contact us today for more tips on how to talk to your senior parent or to schedule a tour of our community and see all that we have to make senior living engaging and fulfilling .