For many of us, senior living isn’t a consideration until it becomes a necessity. So when senior care is no longer a matter of “if” but “when,” your loved ones may have trouble getting on board with the idea. Some people think you have to be ready to die before you consider leaving your home.
Here at Sunnymere, we firmly believe that ‘you come to Sunnymere ‘to live’–not to die.
Here are the most common objections to senior living, and some tips to help your loved ones overcome their objections and accept the change.
Objection: Denial about age and mortality
It can be tough to accept the reality of again when, in their minds, they are still in their 20s or 30s. For many people, even just looking at a retirement community can feel like admitting they’re getting older.
How to Overcome it: Remind your loved ones that aging is a gift—it means they’re alive and they can continue to share their wealth of wisdom and experience. And moving to a senior living community isn’t a sign of defeat. Rather, they may actually be adding years to their life.
Objection: Negative perception of senior living communities
Today’s senior living communities offer so many opportunities to stay active, says Short. But if your loved ones have a mental picture of disengaged seniors just sitting around aimlessly, they will have nothing to do with that idea.
How to Overcome it: Take them to visit various communities. See what each community has to offer. Stop and talk to residents during your visit. Talking to pleased residents can be more important than a building that has a nice decor.
Objection: Financial concerns
Some seniors don’t want to spend the money to move to assisted living, or they fear they can’t afford it. What they fail to consider, are the costs to maintain themselves in their current home, particularly when they have to pay others to help them out daily and perform the upkeep on the house.
How to Overcome it: Show them how much it actually costs to live in their home. They will be surprised. And, for parents who want to save their money for their children, it is best to emphasize that having your parents safe, happy, and healthy is the best gift they can give.
Objection: Fear of change
Many of us, particularly seniors, are nervous about moving to an unfamiliar environment. Familiar is easier. Change becomes more difficult as we age.
How to Overcome it: Ask your loved ones “what if” questions to help them take a realistic look at their situation. ‘What if you need me and I can’t get over to help you?’ What if you fall at home and there’s no one around to help you?
Objection: Anxiety about downsizing
Paring down a lifetime of treasured things can be difficult and downright overwhelming. Some older people even become paralyzed by the thought of going through their belongings and getting rid of things. Plus, your loved ones might not have the physical stamina required for the job.
How to Overcome it: If you’re available and your loved ones are willing, you can help them through the downsizing process. If not, consider hiring a professional organizer or senior move manager to lighten the load. Professionals can help with downsizing, packing, moving, unpacking, and more.
People have a more active life by being around other people. The best time to move to a senior community is when your loved one is still in good health, not when dealing with a crisis. If you are on board, it will easier to get your loved ones to move forward.