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The Aging Journey: How to Talk to Aging Parents About Their Future

Major life changes are difficult at any age. Knowledge ahead of time, the support of loved ones and the safety and security of a plan following the change can help anyone navigate change. One of the biggest challenges is when a major change happens to a loved one, especially to aging parents. During a particular season of life, aging parents may face the loss of driving privileges, a greater need for health care, support in making financial decisions or moving into assisted living. All of these changes involve mature conversation and strong emotions; there are often differing opinions and concerns from all sides.

While these are complex conversations, there are some ways to help smooth out these transitions. Understanding the best way to prepare for and approach a mature conversation is the key to mutual understanding and paves the way for easier life changes.
 

Talking to Aging Parents

For people with aging parents, there will come a time when questions arise about plans for the future. Making decisions about money, living arrangements and health care are all parts of the aging journey. Often, the conversation about senior living choices begins with concerns about health and safety. If there are strong feelings that a senior loved one would be safer moving into assisted living, like the assisted living community at Anthology of The Plaza, it is time for a very mature conversation. Here are five tips on how to talk to elderly parents about moving:

Empathize with feelings and do not let the conversation become a power struggle.
Practice good communication skills, especially active listening and asking questions.
Encourage the elderly parent to be part of the decision-making process.
Start the conversations early, and have a plan in place before health or safety are at a critical point.
Include other loved ones, friends, neighbors and health care professionals in the conversation as appropriate. There are even resources available at senior communities, like Anthology of Stonebridge Ranch
 

What Is the Benefit of Moving to a Senior Living Community?

Even if health and safety are not a current concern, many seniors recognize the benefits of senior living communities. Senior communities, like Anthology of Town and Country), offer customized living experiences with upscale features and amenities, as well as health and social benefits. While leaving behind a family home can be nostalgic, for many seniors, the benefits of senior living communities far outweigh the risks and challenges of continuing to live at home. Some of the top benefits of senior living include:

Many senior communities, like Anthology of Louisville, offer transportation services, linen services, housekeeping, home maintenance and outdoor landscaping. This leaves lots of time for hobbies and new adventures! At Anthology of Tuckahoe, residents love the activity center, game room, fitness and wellness programs, and the diverse menu options and dining venues, including formal dining and bistro-style dining.

Personal care options. In addition to support with the activities of daily living, residing in a senior living community gives seniors access to daily support in the form of medication management, on-site health services and health programs, such as physical therapy.

Safety and security. One of the top benefits of senior living is peace of mind. Household falls and injuries can and do occur; for seniors who live alone, these instances can be much more dangerous. Many senior communities offer alert systems in each apartment home to maintain safety.
 
Healthy living. From strength training to yoga and water aerobics, staying active is essential for health later in life. Some medical conditions can even be improved with fitness, such as memory loss, heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure. Additionally, nutritious, delicious meals prepared by on-site chefs can help each resident achieve their health goals.

Opportunities for Socialization. Socialization is one of the top reasons many people are so happy after moving to a senior living community. The best senior living communities recognize the mental, emotional and health benefits of keeping seniors active and creating ways for them to socialize with their neighbors, friends and families. Active, engaged residents enjoy activity calendars full of fun and exciting learning opportunities that include:

Clubs
Coffee meetups
Spiritual/religious study groups
Local volunteer groups
Card games
Community advisory boards
Happy hours, community meals and morning brunches
 

About Anthology Senior Living

At Anthology Senior Living, we are committed to providing a unique senior living experience that supports residents with the best possible care and hospitality. Through our values and our dedication, we make a difference in the lives of others. Our residents enjoy the best possible nutrition and meal choices, various activities and entertainment options, and our residents have access to the necessary resources for happy, healthy living. One of our top-rated resources is our Making a Positive Change Guide; you can download a copy here

Interested in learning more about Anthology Senior Living? Contact us today to find out more about Anthology of Overland Park and all our communities and resources! 

Want to locate an Anthology community near you? Use our community finder tool!