Tax Deductions and Senior Care: What Families Should Know

March 12, 2018

Tax deductions for Senior Care

Wondering if your assisted living expenses are tax deductible? This information from Legacy Senior Living can help you learn more.

When an older adult is ready to downsize and move to a senior living community, families often work together to create a budget and a plan for financing their transition. In fact, how to finance retirement living is one of the questions we receive most often during our conversations with families.

There are many myths and misunderstandings that can make financing senior living especially confusing for seniors and their loved ones. For example, some adult children mistakenly believe a parent’s Medicare will help pay for all or part of their loved one’s assisted living expenses. Unfortunately, it does not. But there are other programs to help finance senior care that are often overlooked.

Financing Senior Living

Here are a few potential funding solutions to explore:

  • Aid & Attendance pension benefits for veterans and surviving spouses
  • Life settlement funding that allows a senior to sell a life insurance policy
  • Short-term loans to help bridge the gap between when a home is sold or asset is liquidated and a senior moves to assisted living
  • Long-term care insurance policies that cover assisted living

Older adults or their families can also meet with a tax advisor to discuss the tax deductions available for senior care expenses.

Senior Care Expenses and Tax Deductions

When it comes to senior care tax deductions, the laws can be more than a little complicated. We typically recommend that families seek the advice of a tax professional who has experience working with aging service providers. An experienced tax advisor will be able to determine if you or your senior loved one meet the qualifications for a tax deduction and how much you are entitled to deduct.

Before your meeting, we suggest you review two different areas of the tax code that pertain to senior living:

  • IRS Tax Publication 502: This publication outlines the medical and dental expense regulations. It will give you a better understanding of what the IRS considers to be medical care and what financial threshold you must meet. It also includes the rule on what a “qualifying relative” is.
  • IRS Tax Publication 503: Like publication 502, this IRS publication further explains dependent care expenses. It also covers which expenses you can deduct for a spouse’s medical care.

Financing Senior Living

While we can’t give you advice on tax deductions for senior living, we can help you explore potential funding solutions. Call the Legacy Senior Living community near you to schedule a time for a personal visit.

Why Don’t Seniors Report When They Are Victims of Fraud?

February 12, 2018

Older adults are targets of scams and fraud.

Seniors are often the target of scams and fraud but rarely report it. Here’s what families should know.

It’s an unfortunate reality but one that is important to be aware of: older adults are targets of scams and fraud more often than any other age group. The problem is further compounded by the fact that when seniors do fall victim to fraud, they often don’t report it to local police.

Research shows that only 1 in 25 fraud-related crimes are reported to law enforcement. This under-reporting makes it difficult for families of seniors to realize there is a problem and help intervene on their loved one’s behalf.

Why aren’t older adults reporting these crimes when they touch their lives?

There are a variety of reasons and some are unique to the perceptions surrounding aging.

3 Reasons Older Adults Don’t Report Fraud

1. Seniors see it is a sign of old age: Falling victim to a crime of this type is often perceived to be a sign of old age. Many people who are older might not want to admit they’ve been scammed for this very reason. They think it is just plain embarrassing to be scammed out of their money at an age when they are supposed to be wise and have learned so many life lessons.

2. Fear of being perceived as incompetent: It shouldn’t be this way, but it often is. When an older adult becomes the victim of a crime, well-meaning loved ones might see it as a sign that they should take over finances. Being responsible for managing our life and budget is closely tied to independence. While some seniors might welcome a little help, losing control completely before they are ready can be demoralizing. The fear of losing this part of their independence might be another reason older adults fail to admit they’ve been victimized, even to their own family.

3. Not sure where or how to report fraud: Another problem that keeps seniors from reporting scams is that they frequently fall victim to a crime through a telephone or online scam. Because of it, they aren’t sure who to inform or how to go about doing so. In most cases, seniors should start by calling their local law enforcement. Local authorities can start the investigation or help connect the senior with the appropriate government agency.

Remember, being the victim of a crime is difficult at any age. For some people, just the idea of being forced to recount the scenario over and over for law enforcement doesn’t seem worth the effort.

This can be especially true in situations where a senior has been victimized via the phone or internet and doubt they will be able to recover any of their assets. They might just want to put the incident behind them and move on. While adult children might disagree with this approach, it might be a time to respect a senior loved one’s feelings and move on, too.

Family Resources for Financing Senior Living

If you are trying to help an older adult you love explore their options for financing senior living, Financing Retirement has helpful resources for you to review. From benefits for veterans to long-term care insurance and life care funding, you are sure to learn more about financing senior living.

6 Ways to Beat Post-Holiday Caregiver Blues

January 15, 2018

post-holiday caregiver bluesAre you suffering from a case of the post-holiday caregiver blues? These 6 tips can help you beat the blues.

It’s that time of year again. The holidays are behind us and the long winter is in front of us. Warm, sunny days can seem far away. For caregivers who may be stuck indoors a lot during colder months, it’s easy to find yourself feeling a little blue.

Experts say 15% of people struggle to stay positive during the winter months. Some even experience a more serious case of seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD.

If you are a family caregiver who is feeling a little down, this list of post-holiday caregiver blues busters may help boost your mood and lift your spirits.

 6 Blues Busters for Caregivers

1. Get out: While it might be tempting to hibernate until spring, sunshine, combined with fresh air, can be good for the soul. Bundle up, put on skid-proof boots, and head out for a quick trip around the block.

2. Nutrient-rich foods: Many of us turn to carb-heavy comfort foods during the winter, especially if we are feeling a little blue. But they can leave you feeling a little sluggish. A better choice is to fill your plate with nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, fish, and lean protein. They’ll help you feel more energetic and less lethargic.

3. Limit alcohol consumption: If you are trying to boost your mood by indulging in a cocktail or glass of wine each day, know that the “booze blues” might be making the problem worse. Alcohol is a depressant when consumed in any quantity. Opt for water, tea, or juice instead.

4. Good night’s sleep: A case of the blues can lead to sleep problems. For some caregivers it might be sleeping too much, while others don’t sleep enough. Try a few natural remedies for getting a good night’s rest. If they don’t help, you might need to schedule an appointment with your physician. They will likely have other ideas for you to try.

5. Exercise: While this might not be your favorite way to spend your time, exercise is a great way to beat the blues. When you exercise, endorphins – natural mood boosters – are released in the body. Just thirty minutes of daily exercise can help improve your emotional and physical well-being.

6. Stay connected: Try to stay in touch with friends and loved ones even if the weather outside is frightful. If you aren’t able to get together in person, there are other ways to stay connected like phone calls, Skype, and Facebook.

Caregiving at Legacy Senior Living

If you are starting to explore senior living options for an older adult you love, it’s important to ask the right questions. Many of those questions relate to the experience and quality of a community’s caregivers.

We encourage you to use this list to better understand what questions to ask during your visit Legacy Senior Living and at any other community you are considering.

Holiday Gift Ideas for an Adult Who Lives in a Senior Living Community

December 11, 2017

Christmas gift ideasFinding the right gift for an older adult who lives in a senior living community can be challenging. Here are some gift ideas to help you this holiday season.

Older Americans are typically at a stage in life where they aren’t too keen on accumulating more “stuff.” Many older adults are downsizing and scaling back. If your loved one lives in a senior living community, space may also be limited.

So, what can families do when the holidays roll around and it’s gift-giving season?

What you need are a few good gift ideas for creating that special gift for your loved one. And we have some you might find interesting.

Holiday Gift Ideas for Older Adults

Consider these gift ideas for a senior loved one this holiday season:

  1. A Bit of Nostalgia: Top Music Picks for Your Loved One

Everyone loves music from when they were younger. So why not assemble a list of their favorites and create a personalized playlist or song collection for your loved one? Find out what was popular when they were in high school or ask relatives of the same age if they have any ideas.

Music can be therapeutic, after all, which is another reason it makes a great gift.

  1. Something Practical: Gift Cards

Gift cards come in endless varieties these days, covering almost every hobby or need. A fun idea might be to purchase a wallet or purse and fill it with gift cards.

Think about what the senior’s favorite indulgences are. Do they love books? Shoe shopping? Lunch at a local restaurant? Manicures? Buy gift cards that match their interests.

  1. Something Heartwarming: Family Keepsakes

Family memories become even more precious with time, which is why it’s important to preserve them however you can. Creating a special photo album or family calendar for your senior loved one can be a treasured holiday gift. Websites like Shutterfly offer endless options for you to customize photo products.

The great thing is that this is a gift that keeps on giving. It also provides the gift of spending time together as you reminisce and share a few laughs.

For families whose senior loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia, photo albums can help reconnect them with positive feelings and memories.

  1. Something to Look Forward to: a Special Calendar

If you live near your senior loved one, you can give them a year’s worth of planned get-togethers as a gift. Buy a pretty calendar and schedule monthly or weekly activities you can do together. Feel free to get as creative as you like, with ice cream dates, morning tea on Thursdays, yoga, or a home-cooked meal every Sunday.

The Team at Legacy Senior Living

As the holidays approach, the team at Legacy Senior Living is here for you in every way. Whether it’s providing you with holiday gift ideas or answering your senior living questions, we are happy to help. Call us to schedule a tour of a community near you!

Holiday Blues: How You Can Help an Older Loved One Prevent Depression During the Festive Season

November 13, 2017

It is not uncommon for seniors to experience depression during the winter holidays. You can help prevent “the holiday blues” by taking a few simple steps.

The winter holiday season should be a time of joy and celebration for everyone in your family, including your senior loved ones. Unfortunately, many seniors struggle with depression or the ‘holiday blues’ this time of year.

There are many reasons that seniors lapse into sadness—illness, injury, frustration with the aging process or loss of a spouse—but what really matters is that you find ways to prevent depression from happening.

The Signs of the Holiday Blues

Knowing the signs of the holiday blues is critical to helping seniors overcome their seasonal sadness. If you get involved early, you’ll dramatically increase your chances of making a difference.

Here’s what to watch for when spending time with your older loved one:

  • Sadness or irritation that doesn’t go away
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or other formerly pleasurable activities
  • Feelings of uselessness or helplessness
  • Feelings of isolation or loneliness
  • Lack of appetite or sudden weight loss
  • Preoccupation with death and dying

While this list gives you a good place to start, it’s important to watch for subtler signs as well. Many seniors aren’t willing to open up about experiencing sadness so take note of any unusual behaviors even if they don’t admit they’re feeling down.

Preventing the Senior Holiday Blues

Here are four effective ways to keep the holiday blues at bay:

  1. Give Freely of Your Time

Nothing is more important than being present for your older loved ones during the holidays. Spending time together can prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation, which are closely associated with the holiday blues. The only caveat is that you give it eagerly, not as though it were a chore.

  1. Listen, No Matter What

Everyone needs to be listened to, especially seniors who are experiencing depression. When you listen closely to someone’s concerns, it’s much easier to empathize and take their problems seriously. This simple acknowledgment of their feelings will go a long way toward alleviating their pain.

  1. Include Your Senior Loved Ones in Your Holiday Activities

A painful feeling of separateness marks most holiday sadness and inclusion is one of the best ways to counter it. Invite your older loved one to participate in shopping, wrapping presents, and decorating the house to remind them that they’re still an important part of the family. Inclusion can also mean asking them for advice and letting them have a say in family holiday decisions.

  1. Help Them Participate in Outdoor Activities

Inactivity and a lack of sunlight can make a senior’s holiday blues even worse so getting them outside can be a big part of the solution. This is especially true if your senior loved one is experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Activity could include anything they are interested in, but it should involve at least a small amount of mild to moderate exercise.

More Helpful Resources from Legacy Senior Living

A bout of the holiday blues is something seniors experience all too frequently, but that doesn’t mean it’s inevitable. As you can see, there are many things you and your family can do to prevent depression.

Remember that we’re here to help. The Legacy Senior Living blog offers a constant stream of useful information every week. We hope you return to visit often, especially in times of confusion or doubt.

Contact us if you’d like more information or to schedule an in-person tour of one of our communities. We hope the holidays bring you and your family a season of good cheer!

How to Keep a Senior You Love Safe on Facebook

October 16, 2017

Safety on Facebook

More seniors are on Facebook these days. Here’s how you can help a senior loved one avoid the common social media pitfalls.

Kids usually know their parents are on Facebook and probably have been for years. But now there’s a good chance that their grandparents will be sending them a ‘friend’ request, too. According to a Pew Research Center survey, almost half of all seniors are active on social networking sites like Facebook.

That’s great news for seniors. Social media can help older adults feel connected and engaged with friends and family. The down side is that an increasing amount of scammers and con artists are using these types of platforms to find victims.

Facebook Isn’t Always Safe

From phishing scams to privacy issues, there’s a veritable minefield of dangers to watch out for on social media. Teaching senior loved ones how to stay safe online will allow them to continue connecting with friends. Whether it’s keeping in touch with faraway friends or viewing pictures of grandchildren and other family members, seniors love Facebook!

But adult children and family caregivers need to take steps to ensure their senior loved ones stay safe on social media.

Here’s what you can do to keep your loved one from falling prey to a scammer, hacker, or data thief.

Helping Your Senior Loved One Stay Safe on Facebook

Use these tips to help an older American stay safe on Facebook.

  1. Be Selective When it Comes to Making ‘Friends’

It’s tempting to accept every friend request you receive but the fact is, not everyone is a friend. Your senior loved one should be discouraged from accepting friend requests from people they don’t know offline.

  1. Take Advantage of Privacy Controls

The personal information you make public on Facebook can put you at risk. Make sure your senior loved one isn’t revealing too much to the general public. Snoopers are everywhere, looking for exactly this type of data.

Help your loved one by logging in together and reviewing the privacy settings on their account. Restrict public access to information about them as well as to their photos and profile.

  1. Use a Strong Password

This may seem obvious to you, but older adults likely have a different notion of what ‘strong’ means when it comes to passwords. Help them establish truly strong passwords on each social media and email account they have. Use caps, small letters, numbers, and symbols and avoid including any real words.

  1. Be Wary of Messages from Strangers

If a senior receives a private message on Facebook from someone they don’t know, it could be a scammer. Encourage them ignore all these types of messages. Remind them this is good practice for email, too.

  1. Be Picky About What Gets Clicked

Clicking on a link in a Facebook status update often takes you to a website. Sometimes these types of sites are risky. Even clicking on a link can cause malware to download. Make sure your senior loved one understands to be conservative when clicking around on Facebook.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Block People

If your loved one no longer wants to see updates from a particular user on Facebook, assure them it’s OK to block that person. This effectively makes it impossible for that person to see your loved one’s posts, too. And best of all, they can’t contact your loved one by private messaging.

Legacy Senior Living Has Lots More Tips Like This

If you learned something here today, we’re glad we could help. Visit our blog often to discover what else we’re doing to help connect caregivers, seniors, and their families with the resources they need.

And if you’re interested in assisted living, independent living or memory care for a senior loved one, we hope you’ll contact the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you or call us at (423) 478-8071.  We’ll be happy to help!

Explore the Benefits of Living in Independent Living

September 19, 2017

Seniors practicing yoga

An independent living community can be the ideal choice for many older adults and their families. Here are 6 benefits to know and consider.

We know that you have an overwhelming variety of choices when it comes to selecting a senior living community for your loved one. Our goal is to help simplify what can sometimes be a confusing process. Today, we’ll discuss the benefits of one of the most popular choices – an independent living community.

But before we present these benefits, let’s first talk about what an independent living community is.

What is Independent Living?

Briefly put, independent living communities are intended to provide support for older adults who are still in relatively good health. Most independent residents are able to tend to the majority of their day-to-day needs with minimal assistance.

Independent living communities range from easy-to-maintain studio apartments to villas or small cottage-style homes.

While every independent living community has a distinct personality and features different amenities, they all tend to have several important factors in common.

Six Great Benefits of Independent Living Communities

Six of the most attractive benefits older adults will find in independent living communities include:

  1. Variety of Services

Independent living communities feature a variety of services designed to make your senior loved one’s life easier. These often include housekeeping/laundry, personalized meal plans, transportation services, and access to fitness facilities and life enrichment classes.

  1. Beautiful, Maintenance-Free Living Options

Residents can choose from a variety of attractive floor plans and styles. It might be a stand-alone villa or an apartment. What they all have in common is maintenance-free living. No lawn care or snow shoveling required!

  1. Access to Help and Support

Some independent living communities have their own private duty home care on-site to provide assistance if needed. Many are on the same campus as an assisted living community, should a higher level of care be needed.

  1. 24-Hour Safety and Security

Independent living communities offer safe and secure living environments with onsite security staff and an emergency call system. This can give seniors and their loved ones greater peace of mind.

  1. Social Opportunities are Abundant

Independent living offers a variety of opportunities for socializing, entertainment, and fun. This is often one of the primary reasons older adults make this type of move.

  1. Conveniences Galore

These communities usually provide conveniences like trash removal, transportation, and lawn care. Some even offer concierge services, an on-site wellness center and a beauty/barber shop.

Legacy is Here to Help

From answering your questions to sharing information on the Aid & Attendance program for veterans, the team at Legacy Senior Living is here to assist you whenever and however we can. Contact us today to schedule a visit or tour of the Legacy community nearest you!

9 Tips to Help Caregivers Manage Anxiety

September 4, 2017

Senior woman meditating in lotus position at home

Caregiving is a demanding role for everyone, no matter how resilient they are. The responsibility over someone else’s health and making sure their needs are met can lead to high levels of anxiety. And anxiety can take a toll on your own well-being, including both your physical and mental health.

Caregiver stress affects both the caregiver and the senior who’s receiving the care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 29 percent of family caregivers report having difficulty managing stress. That, of course, can affect your behavior in ways that become noticeable to your senior loved one as well as those around you.

If you want to be successful in your caregiving role over the long term, you will need to find ways to manage and reduce your daily anxiety levels.

Here are Nine Tips for Managing Anxiety

Keep in mind that every caregiver is unique and has a unique set of circumstances. So no two solutions are alike when it comes to managing caregiver anxiety. We encourage you to browse this list and see what might work for you.

  1. Talk with Friends and Family

The CDC, a wealth of data on caregiver stress, also reports that 61 percent of caregivers manage their anxiety by talking it out with friends or family. They also seek advice on how to manage their stress or how to make important decisions that concern their senior loved one.

  1. Manage Your Work-Life Balance

Use kind self-talk to remind yourself that balance is the key to being able to care for your senior loved one over the long haul. Instead of striving for perfection in every area of your life, set more reasonable expectations.

In everything that you do, every decision that you make, keep this important balance at the forefront of your mind. Let its significance weigh in your thought processes, always protecting the notion that you need time for your own life.

  1. Nurture the Spirit

Almost three-quarters of family caregivers surveyed by the CDC report that praying helps them cope with the stress of their caregiver role. This assumes that you’re religious. But if you’re not, there are other alternatives to consider including meditation.

For some people, meditation helps them approach the spiritual levels of well-being offered by prayer for religious people. Some people do both! Meditation has a calming effect, but it also helps focus your brain so you can better face the anxiety-causing stressors in your life.

  1. Get Organized

A major cause of anxiety is a lack of organization. Being disorganized can leave you with the constant, nagging feeling that you’re going to be late, miss an appointment, forget a medication, or somehow fail yourself and your senior loved one in your caregiving role.

Get a phone app (or two) to help you manage your time. Learning to keep track of doctor’s appointments, medications, shopping needs, and more on your phone may help you a great deal.

Prefer the old-fashioned way? Get a purse-sized calendar and notebook and use them every day!

  1. Get More Exercise

Working out—even if it’s just a daily brisk walk—can help with anxiety. Your body releases all sorts of feel-good chemicals when you exercise, and you get to let off lots of steam.

  1. Learn From Others

There are several ways that listening to other caregivers can help you. First, people usually find it comforting to know that other people experience what they’re going through. Secondly, you may learn tips from other caregivers about providing care and/or managing stress. Joining an online caregiver support group is an easy way to connect with peers.

  1. Eat Better

Start eating healthier foods and you’ll feel a whole lot stronger when it comes to facing anxiety head-on.

When you’re busy, as most caregivers tend to be, you don’t have a lot of time for healthy food prep. Consider taking advantage of healthy, home-delivered meal programs, such as Hello Fresh or Blue Apron, to make eating nutritious meals a little easier.

  1. Concentrate on Positive Relationships in Your Life

Caregivers just don’t have time for negativity in their lives. Focus on spending time with people who love and support you. Those friends and loved ones who listen to you and make you happy can help you maintain a positive outlook.

  1. Ask for Help

Finally, there’s no shame in asking for help. Friends, relatives, and professional home care aides can supplement the work you’re doing in numerous ways. Start thinking about what tasks you need help with and how you can enlist outside support.

Legacy Helps Seniors and their Families

Legacy Senior Living can help, too. We offer short-term stay options and respite care for seniors whose caregivers need a break. Caregivers often use respite care services when they travel, trusting their senior loved ones to the Legacy community near them until they return. Call the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you to learn more!

Setting Realistic Expectations for a Move to Senior Living

July 17, 2017

When preparing for a move to senior living, the first step is managing expectations. Here are some tips for helping a senior loved one with the transition.

As you probably already know, moving to senior living is a process. It begins with a conversation, followed by the search for the right community. Finally, there’s making your choice, putting affairs in order, and arranging all of the details of the move.

But the process isn’t over yet. Now comes the psychological preparation — not just for your senior loved one, but for you and your family as well.

Managing expectations can be your family’s highest hurdle to jump yet.

Imagining the Transition Ahead

If you remember back to your first day of school or the day you moved out of your parents’ home, you might be able to recall the blend of emotions you felt. On the one hand, the tingle of excitement and the prospect of new horizons filled your head with hope and joy. On the other hand, fear of the unknown and sadness of leaving something behind made the transition bittersweet.

It’s the same with a move to senior living. One of the most important steps you can take at this point in the process is to work on managing expectations — for your senior loved one, yourself, and your family.

Here are a few guidelines to help you navigate the psychological waters ahead. They should help smooth the transition and set the stage for a positive experience in your senior loved one’s new community.

Guideline #1: Get the Whole Gang Involved

For seniors about to move to a new community, one underlying fear is that their social connections will be severed forever. That’s closely related to the fear they’re being abandoned. While you know that to be untrue, the best way to quell those fears is to get everyone involved in the transition process.

Setting up a new space that feels like home is often a personal process. However, having loved ones there for support makes a big difference. From planning the move to helping sort through possessions to physically helping pack things up, it’s better when a supportive network of family members is there to help.

Once the move has occurred, help your loved one integrate by taking the time to make the new space feel like home. Unpack, remove boxes, and place familiar objects throughout the room. Then, try to join your loved one for a few meals at the community so they feel less alone.

Guideline #2: Expect Highs and Lows

Just like when you were young and there was a big event on your horizon, there will be some emotional hills and valleys. Don’t try to flatten out the emotional highs and lows — they’re natural. Just try and surf the wave by talking things out and, more importantly, doing a lot of listening.

Guideline #3: Practice Patience

A key strategy for embracing this transition is to practice patience. There will be times, at first, when your senior loved one will feel the whole idea was a mistake. Some things may not go as planned. Or your loved one may not make friends as quickly as they hoped. That will change with time, so keep in mind that patience will see you through the difficult patches.

Life at a Legacy Senior Living Community

At Legacy Senior Living, we help each new resident prepare for this transition and support them through the good times and bad. But don’t just take our word for it. Call today to schedule a time to visit so you can see for yourself how we go the extra mile in creating an environment that helps each resident live their best life!

How to Have “The Talk” about Senior Living with a Loved One

June 12, 2017

Having the talk about senior living

Talking to a loved one about senior living can be a tough conversation to have. Here’s some advice on preparing for a healthy discussion.

Throughout your life, there are times when you are forced to have difficult discussions. Talking to a loved one about moving to senior living is one of those times. Some adult children say it is one of the conversations they fear most.

Don’t Give Up

Everyone has an inner voice telling them when they need to talk something over with someone. In a case such as this, that inner voice may have been pulling at you for a long time. Fear can easily drown your inner voice, however, causing you to delay “The Talk.”

That’s understandable since discussing major lifestyle changes with a senior loved one can be stressful for everyone.

It’s also why you need to make time to prepare for this discussion. The consequence of avoiding this sometimes uncomfortable conversation your loved one can be dangerous.

Even if you think having the talk will only make things worse, it’s important to express the feelings you’re having. Those feelings are rooted in concern and love, after all.

How to Prepare for ‘The Talk’ with a Senior Loved One

What you have here is a primer for preparing for “The Talk.” Reviewing this advice before you talk with your senior loved one may help improve your chances of having a healthy discussion, rather than one that ends up with everyone feeling hurt and frustrated.

  1. Consider the Situation from Their Point of View

Before you even think of approaching what might be a sensitive topic for your senior older loved one, stop and think. One major fear older adults express about aging is that they will be forced to give up control of their own lives. This loss of independence might make them more resistant to change.

Think about it: they’ve lost friends and possibly even their spouse. Their physical health might be slipping, and they may be losing some of their mental sharpness. On top of that, they may no longer be able to drive. Holding onto the lifestyle they’ve known for decades is becoming more difficult.

Being sensitive to those feelings will help you find the right way to begin the discussion.

  1. Series of Discussions

One sure-fire way to step on toes is to drop in out of the blue and try to take command of your senior loved one’s life. That’s exactly how it will feel to them if they don’t interact with you very often. And it’s important to know that decision to move will require more than a one-time talk with a loved one. In all likelihood, it will be a series of discussions.

Spending more time with your loved one(s) will help you understand how independent they really are. It also allows for the topic of senior living to arise naturally during the normal course of conversation.

Even if you live far away, try to visit on weekends more and to have “face-to-face” conversations via Skype every few days. Eventually, the issues will emerge and The Talk may occur naturally. The key is to practice good listening. According to AARP, it’s important to set the right tone. This is hard to do if you don’t communicate very often.

  1. Gather Information on Local Senior Living Communities

Spend time researching the options for senior living. At some point, your senior loved one may want to know what’s out there. Being able to supply useful information will help that discussion.

Go one step further and prepare for questions about senior living communities. One common concern is how they’ll make friends in their new home. Knowing about the types of social activities a community offers can help allay those fears.

Legacy Senior Living Supports You

Whatever outcome you hope for in your conversation, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Legacy Senior Living understands the hopes —and fears— you have for your senior loved one. You want to know they’re safe, healthy, and happy. Those are our wishes too, for every resident who moves to one of our independent living communities.

If you’d like to learn more, we’re here as a resource for you. Call us or use the form you see on our pages. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by. We’d love to see you!