When Should I Move My Parents To Independent Living

The decision to move your parents should never be taken lightly, and odds are unless it’s their idea, you may receive pushback when you suggest it. However, sometimes the decision to move your parents to independent living is for their own safety, and if you can document reasons why it would be safer for them, they may come around to agreeing it’s for their benefit. 

Sometimes, the signs are easy to see. Maybe your Dad has taken a few falls recently, or your Mom can’t remember to take her medication. Maybe their physician has suggested it may be time to discuss your options.

Other times, adult children can pass situations off as isolated incidents, but they are puzzle pieces to a much larger picture that those who just drop in can’t always see. As the child of an aging parent, it’s important to look for the signs that your parents need the additional care that independent living can provide them. Although this is not an all-encompassing list, signs that your parent may need to move to assisted living include:

  • Requiring reminders to take medications
  • Noticeable weight gain or loss
  • Increase in falls and/or loss of overall mobility
  • Neglecting household maintenance
  • Inability to perform typical daily tasks
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
  • Becoming disoriented or getting lost

What Can Assisted Living Do For My Parent That I Can’t?

Many children who notice the signs listed above initially want to try and care for their parents themselves. While this is manageable if you are primarily in your home, it’s a daunting task for those with their own careers and families to raise. It’s important to remember that even if you do decide that independent living is the best option for your parent, you will still be able to drop in as you do in their current situation. Independent living offers support for both the resident and the resident’s family through this difficult process. 

How Should I Bring Up Independent Living to My Parent?

As previously stated, these conversations are difficult and often emotional for everyone involved. Your parent may also realize it’s time for them to move, but the physical act of packing up and doing so can be difficult to handle 

Have Open Discussions

Begin a discussion with your parent(s) and other family members about the signs you’ve seen that indicate it may be time for independent living. While your parent may push back, it’s important that they are involved in the discussion. Otherwise, it will feel as though they have no choice in what happens next. Everyone involved should discuss:

  • All options, including independent living, home care, and potentially the idea of your parent moving in with a family member
  • The type of care needed and commitment involved with that
  • Fiances
  • Each family member’s role in the decisions and transition
  • What changes your parent(s) will have to make to their lifestyle
  • Location

Determine the Level of Care Needed

When discussing your options with your parent(s) and other family members, you will have to determine the level of care your parent requires to live a fulfilling life. For some, this may just include eliminating home maintenance and having meals available. For others, it may mean they need around-the-clock care that only a skilled nursing facility can provide. By determining the level of care needed, you can determine what kind of facility, if any, your parent(s) need to move to. It will also help determine whether someone in the family can take on a caretaker role and allow your parent(s) to stay in their home. 

Address Their Fears

There are many misconceptions that come with the idea of independent living. Many believe that these communities are filled with very sick residents who rarely leave their rooms. While these residents do exist, the majority of residents are highly active in their individual communities. Instead of trying to change their misconceptions, encourage them to think of the positives of living in an independent living community, such as:

  • Transportation to activities
  • Ability to make friends in the same situation
  • Connection to the community through planned events

You should also encourage your parent(s) to take tours of independent living facilities so they can see for themselves. Approach tours with the same excitement you have for any new living space - bring tape measures, discuss the organization of their stuff in the space, and generate ideas for furnishing and decor. 

Living Arrangement Options

While the first thing that comes to mind when you think of aging parents moving into a facility is “nursing home”, that doesn’t quite cover the range of options available for them. In many families, the location of the facility and/or home is a point or argument, simply because those who live farther away may not fully understand the situation. 

Living Independently or 55+ Communities

Your parent is more than likely going to prefer to stay in their own home, but their level of care needed will determine if this is a possibility. There are multiple resources available for those who may need just a little extra help around the house, including meal delivery, home repair, transportation, and social activities. Your parents may also have the option to leave their current home and enter a 55+ community. There are not living facilities but are instead fee-based communities that offer special services to those who are aging. These residents live independently but can take advantage of all the services the community offers. These communities are a great option for those who just need a little bit of extra support but still want to remain independent. 

Retirement Communities

Those who reside in retirement communities still live independently, but with the added benefit of a larger group setting. These communities are often multi-unit settings with group meals, transportation, housekeeping, and organized social activities. Some retirement communities have nurses accessible in case something were to happen. Others also offer continuing care in the same facility in anticipation of a resident’s care situation changing. 

Assisted Living Facility

Individuals who are primarily independent but need daily check-ins and assistance with housekeeping may benefit from an assisted living facility. Residents typically live in rooms or apartment-style accommodations, and meals are provided in a dining room setting. Care can be catered to the individual's needs and can increase or decrease depending on the care needed at the time. Many of these facilities also offer specialty care, such as rehabilitation or memory care. 

Skilled Nursing Facility

Skilled nursing facilities are what people often refer to as nursing homes. These facilities provide services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are designed to supply high levels of personalized care. Nurses at skilled nursing facilities are certified and trained to administer injections, monitor blood pressure, managing ventilators, and feedings to name a few. Oftentimes, skilled nursing facilities have both long-term and short-term options. The long-term option is for those who will need continuing care and cannot live on their own anymore. On the other hand, short-term skilled nursing is great for those recovering from severe injuries, strokes, and other illnesses or injuries. 

The Village at Germantown

The Village at Germantown is home to many residents who have lived and raised their families in Germantown. We provide physical rehabilitation, on-site healthcare, memory care, assisted living, and more to our residents. We also offer many amenities, such as a fine dining restaurant, spa, housekeeper, 24-hour security, scheduled transportation to activities, a call system, grounds maintenance, and community clubs. 

Do you think your parent(s) could benefit from everything The Village at Germantown offers? Contact us today for more information!

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Our goal at The Village at Germantown is to provide you with a lifetime home, a wonderful address where you can truly have the time of your life. Here, you can follow a seamless path of wellness incorporating physical fitness, nutrition, and social integration – essential components for successful aging.

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