You’ve thoughtfully made your senior living expectations checklist — freedom, opportunity, independence and amenities are all on your list. Chores and maintenance are definitely NOT.
You’re now ready to make a change at this point of your retirement so that the next stage is your best stage. There’s just one more thing on the list: Talk to your family about your move to a Life Plan Community.
It may be a move they didn’t see coming, so they may initially be surprised or caught off guard. But with a little preparation on your talking points, you can help them see all the benefits — for both you and for them — of independent living in a senior living community.
When to start the conversation
As the saying goes, timing is everything. You’ll want to bring the topic up to your family once you’re fully comfortable and ready to have the conversation. And that may take some time. But you don’t want to wait until the week before you plan to move, either. Consider gathering your adult children together in person and sharing your decision with them, so that they may have an opportunity to ask questions and voice their feelings.
It’s possible your family isn’t familiar with what a Life Plan Community is. They may not even know that there’s such a thing as independent living in a senior living community.
They may not know about the many senior living amenities and services, nor understand all of the benefits. Their main concern may be about your health and whether you’re moving because you need the continuum of care.
What to say to your family
To help you easily explain what a Life Plan Community is, you can use this definition:
It’s a type of senior living community where healthy and active older adults move into independent living and enjoy a lifestyle rich with services and amenities. You’ll also have a community of professional staff, such as housekeeping, a culinary team, concierge, full-time trained wellness instructors and others who are committed to making each day enjoyable and purpose-filled for all residents.
As a resident, you’ll have access to an on-site continuum of care if you need it, so you can stay in the community without making another move off-campus if you ever need assisted living, skilled nursing or memory care.
Reassure your family that you’re moving to a senior living community because you’re in good health, and you want to enjoy everything independent living has to offer. You may want to take out your checklist we talked about earlier and walk your family through it:
- Freedom — you won’t have to worry about maintenance, housekeeping, lawn care or landscaping, freeing up your time to pursue what interests you
- Opportunity — with your newfound free time you’ll have monthly activities calendars, numerous common spaces to enjoy, spaces completely dedicated to wellness, multiple dining venues and more
- Independence — independent living provides you with a modern, comfortable, private residence with fine finishes inside, and friendly neighbors just outside
- Amenities and services — senior living amenities and services you might find include multiple dining venues, along with a culinary team that creates ever-changing menus; a fitness center with senior-specific equipment and full-time instructor; life-enriching classes, clubs and groups to engage you in mind, body and soul; common spaces like a woodworking shop, art studio and card room so you can explore your hobbies
One more thing you may want to point out: If you’re planning on moving into independent living in a Florida retirement community, you won’t be the only one enjoying a remarkable beach retirement. Your family can enjoy time at the beach with you!
Additional benefits to mention
Earlier we mentioned that choosing independent living can benefit both you and your family. Here are some benefits you may want to share with your family.
Location — many senior living communities are close to walkable downtowns, parks, beaches, grocery stores and shops; communities are also within easy driving distance from airports and hospitals and, depending on the community you choose, you may be closer to your family than before
Lifestyle — because of the long list of services, amenities and common spaces independent living communities provide, residents can enjoy a more vibrant and active lifestyle than if they stayed in their homes
Healthcare — because Life Plan Communities offer a continuum of care (independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation and memory care) you’ll have a smart plan in place for any future care you may need. This means you won’t need to place the burden of care — or the stress of making a decision about your care in a crisis — on your loved ones
Socialization — it’s only natural that with neighbors who share many of your life experiences and interests, it’ll be incredibly easy to meet new friends nearly every day
Wellness — with an entire culinary team devoted to creating delicious, nutritious and diverse menus, and with a fitness center full of senior-specific equipment and a dedicated instructor who teaches fitness classes, you’ll have unlimited opportunities to focus on your health and well-being
Discussing the next steps
Once you’ve selected your independent living floor plan, you may want to start the next-steps conversation by discussing what furniture you plan to take with you. Then talk with your family about what items they may want, and which items you plan to sell, donate or give away.
You’ll also want to decide what you want to do with your home. Do you plan to sell it with a real estate professional, or do a For Sale by Owner? Will you rent it, or does one of your family members want to move into it? Whatever you opt to do with your home, be sure that you’re comfortable with the decision emotionally and financially.
Finally, you’ll want to talk to your family about whether you want them to accompany you on the day of your actual move. Perhaps you’ll choose to invite them all to the community once you get settled in, to enjoy a family dinner in the community’s private dining room. And you’ll definitely want to talk about scheduling a date that works for everyone.
After all, you want your family to be just as excited about your new community as you are.
If you’re looking for Life Plan Communities in the Palm Beach County area, we invite you to learn more about The Waterford.
As a Life Care community, we offer our residents the comfort and stability of a full continuum of health care if they need it, so they can worry less about the future and focus more on what they love. Learn more about The Waterford and the many benefits we offer our current and future residents by contacting us today.