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December 23, 2020

Talking to your parents about independent living communities

For adults with aging parents, there are several difficult – although necessary – conversations that must be had around planning for the future. One of those conversations is about making the transition to senior living. And with multiple care factors to consider and a range of options for independent living communities to choose from, this discussion may seem all the more daunting. At Country Meadows, we have decades of experience in helping families make the right decisions for their senior living journey. Here of some ways to help ease into the conversation of planning for senior living.

Find the right time and use the right tone

When discussing sensitive subjects, especially ones so deeply personal, it’s best to enter the conversation knowing that it may not be easy for either yourself or your aging loved one. Be sure to find a time where there are no other distractions and you can sit down and have a meaningful experience. For instance, attempting to have this discussion during a family function or before an important event may cause clouded judgement as its already such a momentous time. If this is the very first time you’ll be having a conversation about independent living communities, these preparations can make all the difference in how your words are received. 

It’s also important to understand there may be resistance from your parents or loved one when discussing independent living communities. If the discussion becomes emotional, be sure to stay calm while directing the conversation. 

Do your own research on independent living communities

It’s a good idea to walk into a situation prepared, and discussing independent living communities with your parents is no different. Researching amenities, activities and levels of available care if needed will help you provide solid answers when questions arise. Additionally, understanding the differences in pricing among the many independent living communities available will help you be realistic about what options are affordable. Once your parents are ready to be a part of the process, you’ll already be prepared for a more positive prospecting experience.   

Anticipate what your parents are looking for in independent living communities

While your parents or elders may not have explicitly expressed what they’re looking for in a senior living community experience, there are reference points that can help you understand what they may need from independent living communities. For instance, gauging their level of independence will be important when it comes to determining the type of care that they’ll need now or in the future – and this may differ from what your parents feel their level of independence is. Knowing, however, what aspects within the independent living communities you’re researching may bring a compromise between your points of view. This can help to keep these conversations respectful of what you feel is best and also what your parents’ wishes are. If you know that your parents are social, active or enjoy dining out often, leading your research with independent living communities that feature those amenities can be a great entry point.  

Be ready to have multiple discussions

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it’s very likely that planning retirement won’t happen in a single sitting either. There are many aspects that go into making a decision on senior living. Between the initial conversation, understanding the options available, visiting prospective campuses and financial considerations, there will be a lot of time invested in the process. Outside of these factors, the emotional aspects may leave you having to revisit this conversation with your loved ones either when they’re ready to think about independent living communities or when they’re willing to at least continue the discussion. Being able to listen and empathize will be very important in ensuring that everyone feels respected and heard.

Ultimately, understanding your parent’s emotional needs in addition to their physical needs will be crucial in navigating these difficult conversations effectively. And when you’re ready to make a decision on independent living communities, Country Meadows is here to help. 

With nine locations in Pennsylvania and one in Frederick, Maryland, Country Meadows has consistently been recognized as one of the best independent living communities for seniors. Not only are our independent living communities affordable, but they’re also designed for each resident to feel connected to neighbors while still having space all their own. Our campuses are pet friendly, as well, so residents can bring their furry friends along. In addition to independent living communities, Country Meadows also offers many different services including memory support, rehabilitation services, assisted living and personal care as well as restorative care options. With this comprehensive approach, our independent living communities are able to give a range of care to all residents. 

If you or a loved one are looking for more information on independent living communities or specifically more information on Country Meadows, contact us today. We can help you learn more about the services we offer, schedule a tour of our independent living communities and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you. 


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