What NOT to Say to a Senior Choosing a Senior Living Community
Your senior loved one has made a decision to move to a senior living community, and you have the opportunity to offer them your support and encouragement, or your criticism and sadness. You may have some feelings of your own on the topic, but the decision is theirs. And that’s why it’s important to offer your support, and pay attention to their experience. After all, this isn’t happening to you. They’re the one moving.
Moving from a family house to a senior living home is definitely a personal and emotional process that is usually difficult for everyone. Maybe the person is moving from the place they have called home since they were born, or a place they have lived with their family for decades. You need to be the one moving to a senior living community to understand how difficult and sometimes demoralizing the thought of living your home can be.
You might not have bad intentions when a senior is choosing a senior living facility. But there are some words and phrases that you should avoid saying at all cost during such a time. Here are some of the things you should never say to a senior who is moving to a senior living facility.
“How Do You Know You’ll Be Safe? What’s Security Like There?”
Where your friend currently lives, is there a security system or staff? Chances are there isn’t. If there is, the senior living facility probably still does have better security.
So what worries you about safety, really? If you consider your safety concerns and decide you really do need to find out the answers, this is still not an appropriate question to ask someone who’s already decided to move. There’s no need to transfer your concerns and stress to them. Ask the facility if you’re still worried. Any senior living facility, assisted living home, or senior community should speak freely with the public about the security measures they have in place.
“This is the Beginning of the End”
For whatever reason, some people think it’s clever or witty to say this to seniors moving into assisted living or other senior accommodations. It’s not witty, it’s hurtful. It’s a universal truth that we’re all moving closer to our passing. Wherever we live.
In truth, moving into communities where medical care is more available, help with daily activities is easier to obtain, and other people around are in similar stages of life can be the beginning of a new beginning. With more community and less daily struggle.
“You Can Move in With Me”
For some reason, offers to move in with friends and relatives often seem to come after a decision to go to senior living has already been made. And it may sound nice to offer, and you may really mean it. But right now what your parent, friend, or neighbor has is a solid plan that they made after evaluating their options. Be very careful about upturning their plans unless you are 110% sure that you’re prepared, willing, and qualified to fill in for all the roles that the senior living facility would play for them. If you do make them question their path, and then if they don’t accept your offer, understand that you were too late. They made their plans and are sticking to them.
In conclusion, be mindful of the experience your aging friend or relative is having. If they’ve decided to move to a senior living facility, their wishes need to be respected, and supported. This decision is difficult for many people, and receiving criticism and doubt from loved ones doesn’t serve any useful purpose.
Originally published at https://healthaiminc.com on April 24, 2019.
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