Oftentimes, Americans think of retirement as a financial (“savings”) issue – and it is. However, as in any stage of life, the purpose of savings is to give you options – and for seniors, that means options in housing, lifestyle, healthcare, and overall quality of life. Just like people benefit from saving for retirement early in life, people will benefit from thinking about where and how they would like to live during retirement as early as possible.
We talk to many seniors and families at The Saybrook at Haddam who tell us they have detailed plans in place so they can maximize their retirement savings and enjoy their senior years. They also tell us they created a senior living plan so their adult children would not have to make any decisions for them. This is an ideal situation!
However, the American Senior Housing Association (ASHA) tells us that 75 percent of American families do not discuss retirement housing early or directly, waiting for a crisis or drastic change in a senior’s health to prompt them into action. In other words, families are uncomfortable or unmotivated about discussing their own or their parents’ retirement plans.
There are many articles available on the internet that offer tips to help families approach this topic and start this important conversation. We thought “Tips for Adults Talking to Their Parents about Senior Living Choices” from the ASHA’s “Where You Live Matters” website and “Talking with your Parents About Independent Living” from the AARP were particularly helpful. Each article recommends gathering as much information as possible about local independent or assisted living communities, services available to seniors, and quality of life issues that may directly affect loved ones. Then they recommend gently approaching the subject with the senior citizen, cautiously explaining any concerns, and offering to help (being careful to avoid being too heavy handed).
Families may be (happily) surprised that their parents or elderly relatives are more prepared than they thought. Or, they may be able to better identify fears or obstacles their parents might have such as finances, inaccurate ideas of senior living communities, or simply not being ready to leave the family home and lifelong memories. Either way, the conversation has been started – and the solution is closer at hand.
We know families appreciate coming to The Saybrook at Haddam for lunch or dinner to taste the food and experience life in our community. Seniors also enjoy attending some of the cultural or educational events we host each week (Bible discussions, book clubs, art appreciation classes, concerts, etc.) so they can get a better feel of how their days will be spent. Having guests join us at these events contributes to the wonderful energy in our vibrant community – which is welcome and reassuring to senior citizens and their families.
Please give us a call or stop by if you would like to discuss ways you can start the conversation about senior living plans with your loved one. We are always happy to give you a personalized tour, discuss all the services and support available at The Saybrook at Haddam, and answer any questions you may have.
For a private tour of The Saybrook at Haddam or its Safe Harbor memory care neighborhood, please fill out the form below or contact David Downey at 860-345-3779.