How to smooth the transition into a retirement living community

While a recent study from the American Association of Retired Persons found that approximately 90 percent of adults 65 and older want to stay in their home, sometimes this is not a realistic option. Whether it’s due to a chronic illness, injury or an inability to perform of activities of daily living on their own, sometimes transitioning to a senior living community is the best option. This is often easier said than done, as seniors may be reluctant to make the move, especially if they are committed to their family home. However, there are some steps adults children can take to smooth the transition to retirement living.

Have a positive outlook
Some of the resistance adult children may face when suggesting their loved ones move to a senior living community stems from some unfounded negative connotation associated with the lifestyle option. Rather than focusing on negative aspects of why they have to move – they’re not safe, they experienced a fall – it’s a good idea to focus on the positive aspects of such a transition. For instance, it might be a good idea to highlight the fact there will be more opportunities for them to stay socially active or that they’ll be much closer to medical attention should they need it.

Make the most of a visit
It’s unreasonable to expect older adults to be comfortable with moving into a senior living community if they haven’t paid it a visit. Rather than simply touring the grounds, it’s essential for seniors and their adult children to make the most of their time there. AARP recommends looking at several aspects in particular, such as the staff credentials, how the grounds are maintained and what the surrounding community is like. It’s also a good idea to talk to current residents about their experience there. Taking all these factors into consideration can allay the concerns of some prospective residents.

Start the discussion early
Perhaps the best way to alleviate any anxiety an elderly loved one has about moving to a retirement community is to start talking about it before it becomes a necessity. For instance, casually discussing the possibility before a crisis arises may make seniors more likely to accept the idea when they have to move due to health and safely concerns.