Can you remember the last life-changing event you experienced? Even the most positive life-changing events can send your nerves and “what if” thoughts into overdrive.
If your parent or loved one is reluctant to move to an Assisted Living community, it’s helpful to understand why they may be fearful of making the move. Let’s take a deeper look into five common fears older adults have about moving to Assisted Living communities and how to help them overcome those fears.
Fear #1 Complete Loss of Independence and Privacy
This is one of the most common fears. We are brought up to learn to take care of ourselves and we each cherish our own independence. The thought of moving to an Assisted Living community can automatically make your loved one believe that they will no longer have possession of their own independence.
In reality, that is the opposite of the goal most Assisted Living communities. The Assisted Living team is there to help your loved one with daily tasks, and these tasks vary from person to person. They still encourage and promote their independence, but are there for them with any help they may need.
Fear #2: I Will Be Forgotten
Another top fear of older adults is that they will move to an Assisted Living community and simply be forgotten by their family and friends.
To help them overcome this fear, assure them that the Assisted Living community allows friends and family to visit any time and most communities (especially resident-driven communities), encourage family and friends to participate in activities and events with the residents.
If your loved one is moving into a Lifecare community that is also resident-driven, discuss with them the opportunities of making new friends within the community. Even if they require higher levels of service, they still have access to their friends because all levels of care are available on one campus.
Fear #3: I Can’t Afford It
Finances may be racing through your loved one's mind when thinking about moving to an Assisted Living community. Some costs of moving to an Assisted Living community include selling their current home, the fees associated with the Assisted Living community and so on.
Research with your loved ones the many resources that can help them afford Assisted Living. Assisted Living communities are happy to meet with you.
Fear #4: I Won’t Love the Assisted Living Community Like I Love My Current Home
As Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.”
Transitioning from a home that your loved one has lived in for years to an Assisted Living community is not an easy one. Their home is what is familiar and safe.
Depending on the situation, take your time to research and tour different Assisted Living communities with your loved one. Allow them to voice their opinions and concerns about each choice and be a good listener.
Tours of the community can give your loved one a sense of the lifestyle and in-person experience before making a final decision. This could help them consider their options and promote a smoother transition.
Once your loved one is moved in, be sure to visit often. Being in a new place can be a stressful experience and seeing a familiar face can be comforting. Encourage them to introduce themselves to fellow residents and be with them during these introductions. The more residents they meet and befriend, the more comfortable they will feel in their new home.
Fear #5 I Don’t Want to be Forced to Participate in Activities I’m Not Interested In
Some older adults fear that they will be forced into activities and events going on throughout the community, even if they don’t want to.
This is simply not true. They are encouraged to participate but never forced. However, if the community is resident-driven, there are so many activities and events that cover a range of topics that your loved one is sure to find something they would be interested in.
If not, these communities are open to recommendations for activities. Your loved one can pick and choose which activities they would like to engage with whenever they feel like participating.
Conversations to Help Overcome Fears
The key to understanding what your loved one fears about life at an Assisted Living community is to encourage them to talk about their fears and listen to them. Once you have identified what they fear, you can have a conversation on how you can work together to conquer those fears.
Take your time and help your loved one research different Assisted Living communities, then tour each one with a list of questions. When you and your loved one have a better understanding of which Assisted Living community is right for them, the transition will become much easier.
A Helping Hand at The Harbors
The Harbors at The Admiral at the Lake provides a warm, home-like environment for residents.
Instead of caregivers, The Harbors team members are care partners who enjoy working with residents and their families. Care partners aid residents with any help that they need while helping them maintain independence.
The Admiral promotes a resident-driven lifestyle, and there over 30 groups and committees that direct resident activities and events. Residents can participate in these activities whenever they’d like.
If you and your loved one are ready to look at a few Assisted Living options, you’re invited to visit The Harbors to see our community for yourself. We will give you a personalized tour where you can see our Assisted Living apartments and The Admiral restaurants, as well as meet some of the residents.
See The Admiral at the Lake for Yourself!