Man is born free, but eventually, time and the ravages of a life well lived reduces his capacity to be on his own as much. While elderly people (such as your parents) may be perfectly fine to take care of themselves, living in their own independent home may no longer be as appealing as it once was. People move away, it gets harder to get in and out of the car with the same passion that once was reserved for Sunday drives to the grocery store. It simply means you’re getting older.
In fact, an estimated 9 out of 10 Americans over the age of 65 would prefer to stay at home for as long as possible. Since eventually, this can get to be an issue (the isolation of the suburbs, lack of centralized shopping/recreation, etc) it is then preferable to see if your elderly parents would prefer to dwell in an independent living facility, which is distinctly different from an assisted living facility. Independent living is just like how it sounds, for seniors that would like to be around other seniors.
In this brief article we’ll discuss how to prepare your elderly parent for independent living, and some of the benefits it can provide. From socializing to minimizing living space and expenses, there are many benefits to independent living that anyone would realize if they thought about it long enough. With a little creativity and some know-how, it shouldn’t be too difficult of a sell to also convince an elderly parent that it’s the better option.
One of the major hesitations for elderly people moving into senior housing is certainly the preconceived notions they have of it. Any time that an elderly person is moved away from their primary residence, it tends to be associated with “assisted living,” as though they can truly no longer take care of themselves at all. Nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to independent housing.
Independent living communities offer senior citizens a chance to be around people their own age that are in similar life situations. Many of these seniors have lost a spouse, can no longer keep up with owning a home, or would simply like to reduce their overall expenses. In an independent living community, they are allowed to be who they are and live in a modest and frugal fashion toward their desires. They have the opportunity to meet new people, participate in activities, and have centrally planned needs done by third-party services.
Assisted living facilities share more in common with hospitals than independent living facilities. Not only do they usually have doctors on staff, but almost all of its residents require additional care of some kind. These are the institutions that are commonly mixed up with independent living, but nothing could be further from the truth. They are certainly great for those who need them, but if you can live independently on your own you are not suited for and will not enjoy living in an assisted living facility.
If you’re trying to persuade an elderly person in your life why they should consider moving into one of many senior living communities, you’ll have to appeal to them on a factual basis that makes sense. Since they don’t need assistance with living, they may see it as foolish to move out of their paid off house in a nice neighborhood. But if you point out to them that they can no longer keep up with the maintenance, taxes, or other costs associated with owning a home, they may agree with you.
The socialization aspect should be a part that you continue to harp on when trying to persuade an elderly person, especially if they’re flying solo. Making friends and having happy memories is a part of a life well lived, and this is much easier to do around other people with similar interests and life concerns. The need for friends, companionship, and belonging is rather universal. It does not disappear after a certain age, nor does it dwindle in its capacity to bring people out of their comfort zone into fully being themselves again.