Moving is tough; ask any 10-year-old coming to grips with the first move from his or her childhood home, or a 60-year-old baby boomer pondering the thought of moving his or her aging parent or loved one to a senior living community.
A recent survey commissioned by Holiday Retirement aimed to uncover baby boomers' concerns over moving an aging parent or loved one to a retirement community in order to better understand the concerns and help to calm any feelings of anxiety.
Here are three of the most pressing concerns expressed by baby boomers, and ways to alleviate them:
Concern #1: Having the tough conversation
Nearly two-thirds of baby boomers surveyed considered themselves likely to move an aging loved one to a senior living community, but the conversation can sometimes be a tough one. In an attempt to identify the right time to discuss senior living options, boomers highlighted what may influence them to make a living change for their loved one:
-- 48 percent would do so if he/she appears to be having memory issues.
-- 46 percent if he/she has fallen at home and needs more around-the-clock supervision.
-- 39 percent if he/she is no longer eating well.
Moving an aging parent or loved one to a senior living community is an emotional decision that often comes with difficult conversations. Remember to be open and honest about your concern for your loved one's health and happiness during these conversations. This can make all the difference in transitioning a loved one to senior living.
Concern #2: Choosing the right senior living option
Whether a specific fall at home or a gradual accumulation of smaller events offers justification for a senior living move, boomers showed concern over choosing the right living choice for an aging parent or loved one:
-- 37 percent favored moving an aging parent or loved one into a senior living community.
-- 36 percent chose hiring a part-time caregiver.
-- 28 percent opted for moving an aging loved one into their home.
Caregivers who are fully educated on retirement living options for a loved one will feel more at ease with making a decision. From independent retirement living to assisted living to aging in place, baby boomers should stay informed about all the factors surrounding a senior living move. More information can be found at holidaytouch.com/why-move.
Concern #3: Alleviating guilty feelings
Determining if an aging parent or loved one should consider a senior living community can be an emotionally exhausting decision, especially if feelings of guilt begin to emerge. Of the more than 500 baby boomer surveyed, 61 percent raised some level of concern that they would feel guilty about moving their loved one to a senior living community.
Feelings of guilt or apprehension over moving an aging parent or loved one to a retirement community are natural for many baby boomers. What is important to remember is that these feelings are often short-lived when a loved one's improved quality of life becomes apparent. Baby boomers should explore ways to manage and overcome misconceptions about senior living to help ease concerns.
Making the move to senior living count
For baby boomers, deciding to move is never as clear-cut as they want it to be; and moving an aging parent or loved one comes with its own set of unique challenges. The most important part of making the right decision is the planning that precedes it and the confidence that the final decision is the right one. Remember, both go a long way in lightening concerns and misconceptions for caregivers and loved ones.