At the Brookhouse Home, we are aware that one of the most difficult conversations we have either with family or with ourselves is the subject of moving to a senior residence. We discussed some major indicators that should be considered in our prior blog Top Five Reasons for Considering a Rest Home. However, there are less stressful and more opportune times to discuss going to a senior residence and we have listed them here. Please consider these top eight ways to have the discussion.

Family Transitions

There are times when adult children may live too far away to check in with their elderly relatives but are willing and anxious to have them live closer by to family. If a senior is willing to make the geographical move to a Rest Home at the Forefront near their adult children, this provides a chance for families to reconnect in a very positive way.

Transportation

One of the more important times to bring up a possible move to a senior residence is when an older person is having more difficulty driving. Whether they have a minor fender bender or struggle seeing at night, there is a time where many seniors know that they should be driving less and begin asking and needing someone to drive them. If or when a senior decides to hand over the keys to their car, they are naturally going to end up being less mobile and more isolated. Senior residences can help alleviate that difficult adjustment. We discuss that further in  Building Community is Key to Health and Wellness.

Household Responsibilities

Even if the trend is now to “age in place”, particularly after the loss of a loved one, a senior is left with the responsibility, upkeep and maintenance of a home. Many find that ongoing interior and exterior work, improvements and care, as well as the cost of real estate taxes and evolving neighborhoods often prompt thoughts of downsizing or selling a large home could lead to a discussion about supportive living in a senior residence.

Weather Worries

Many New England seniors remain responsible for shoveling, and clearing sidewalks and driveways after a winter storm. With winter weather worries approaching for both seniors and those who care about them, this may be a time to discuss options. Additionally, worries about outdoor home maintenance, heating costs, possibly falling on icy stairs or walkways, would be alleviated by moving to a senior care residence where they have no need to be concerned about any of that.

Managing Finances

Many aging seniors find it difficult to keep up with ongoing financial responsibilities. A family member might find an increasing pile of bills, waiting to be paid and find this to be an increasing concern. This financial burden can lead to difficulties for seniors when doing taxes or taking care of multiple bills at one time. Particularly after the loss of a spouse, there is a burden to being in charge of household finances and loss of income that becomes increasingly difficult for seniors. Often, the first sign of a decline in a senior is the inability to balance their checkbook.

Home Care Roadblocks

Many of those having difficult conversations about senior care with family members may try the Home Care option as well. But, many find that despite the professionalism of the home health care agencies, many seniors are very uncomfortable having a caregiver with them at home. Sometimes the family will try a home health caregiver but they soon realize that it is not a good fit. Ultimately, they find that their elderly family member accepts care more readily when they are situated in a senior residence.

Friendships

We often find – particularly at the Brookhouse Home  – that when a woman loses a spouse or life partner there is a void that is hard to fill. The camaraderie and activities help we talk about enhance friendships and allow seniors to  give back to our community. After a loss, talking about living alternatives offers where seniors can remain engaged in the community can offer hope.

Estate Planning

Talking about senior estate planning, power of attorney, last will and testament often involve a visit to an attorney. Sometimes talking about estate planning can be a segue to talking about senior residences. The idea or notion that an elder can take care of family members through the sale of a home, or because of a downsizing move, is often times a chance for an elder to ensure their loved ones are taken care of in the decades to come.