This blog is part of a year-long series aimed at addressing some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from family and adult children on the topics most concerning them regarding their aging parents or loved one. In 2012 Hebrew SeniorLife published the eBook "You & Your Aging Parent: A Family Approach to Lifelong Health, Wellness & Care," a compilation of answers from HSL geriatric experts in response to the many of the most frequently asked questions. We're reposting some of the most popular Q&A posts from our original eBook which was downloaded over 2,000 times. We're also adding new Q&As throughout the series that address topics not originally included in our eBook. Sign up to receive the blog series and download our original eBook at www.hslindependentliving.org.
Have you noticed that your parents are overwhelmed by household chores, don’t have the energy they once had, seem concerned about driving in the snow or missing their friends who have died or moved away? You’re not alone. Most adult children spend an inordinate amount of time “worrying” about their parents.
Have you ever thought about a continuing care retirement community (CCRC)? Or do you even know what one is? A CCRC is an organization that offers a full range of housing, residential services and health care on order to serve residents as their needs change. Most CCRCs consist of independent living, assisted living and long-term care. It is an attractive option for seniors who want an active and flexible lifestyle with the security of available need-based care. At Hebrew SeniorLife, we sponsor two CCRCs – Orchard Cove in Canton and NewBridge on the Charles in Dedham.
But making a decision to move to a CCRC or any other type of senior living is a family decision. Seniors want to live in a community in which they feel welcome, engaged and comfortable. And their children need to know that their parents are intellectually stimulated, healthy and safe. If you’re lucky enough to be a part of a family, it’s certainly a decision that should involve both generations.
But when is the “right” time for your parent(s) to consider a move? In reality, the “right” time is before you “need” it. CCRCs, in particular, are active and engaged communities that offer older adults freedom from worry about housekeeping, home maintenance, laundry and meals and more time to enjoy and explore new activities and interests. The time for your parent(s) to make a move is when they are healthy, active and able to enjoy community life. If they wait until a health problem forces their decision, they will have fewer choices and less time to make them.
So what’s your role as the adult child? Do your homework. Visit several independent living communities and see what life there is like. Ask any questions you have. Become an “expert” before addressing the topic with your parent(s). It would also make sense to have your parent(s) visit a community, meet other residents, enjoy a meal or even spend the night. Your parent(s) probably know that their current living arrangements are not ideal. Be open, be honest, let your parent(s) know you’re concerned about them and want to work with them. We also suggest you visit HSLindependentliving.org to hear “real” stories from seniors and their children and see the Adult Child’s Guide to Senior Living that we’ve prepared. Obviously, the decision is your parent(s)’ to make, but you can guide them to the right one – and the right decision will benefit both of you!
About Hebrew SeniorLife Independent Living Communities
Hebrew SeniorLife offers a variety of options for senior living in Massachusetts open to residents of all backgrounds, faiths and cultures. At the heart of our philosophy is the fundamental belief that senior living should be much more than just a place to live. Our senior residences foster a sense of home and community living, centered around promoting the ideals of wellness and active, energetic lifestyles. At our communities, we encourage independence and self-fulfillment. Our innovative programs are helping to shape the very meaning of retirement living.