HOW TO TALK TO YOUR PARENTS ABOUT RETIREMENT LIVING
It’s never too early to start the conversation. If your parent or family member has not brought it up, maybe it’s time for you to raise the subject. You may be surprised and learn that they already are thinking about moving to a retirement community, but they just haven’t yet shared it with you. It may be hard for them to talk to you; after all, they are the parents. Enlist the help of siblings, in-laws, aunts and uncles, or trusted advisors such as physicians or clergy. Perhaps friends of your parents have already made the transition; if so, have them talk with your parents.
Remember that making the move to a retirement community is a big decision. It is one they need to make for themselves, and it may take time for them to reach the right choice. Read below, and check out more of our resources.
> Be patient and positive.
Just like other big decisions, this is a process. Often in a couple, one may be ready to make the move to a senior living community, and the other might not be ready. While you want the best for them, what you think is best may not be what they believe is right. It is all about their needs, not yours. Be encouraging, warm, and enthusiastic about their options, and let them determine what suits them best. After all, they are the ones making the decisions for their lives.
> Talking about finances.
Your parents may not have shared their financial situation with you and may find such a conversation intrusive. Tell them you want to help, but if they prefer, they should talk with a financial advisor to make sure they can afford the retirement community. Offer to help by looking at their current expenses and comparing them to all the services and amenities available from Edgewood.
> How do you know they can afford Edgewood?
To ensure the financial health of Edgewood senior living community, we have guidelines for accepting new members. We look for assets equal to at least two times the Entrance Fee. Assets include your home, other property, cash, and investments. We look for one-and-a-half times the Monthly Fee in income from all sources including pensions, Social Security, annuities, IRAs, and other resources.
> How do we choose the right retirement community?
There are many things to consider when seeking a senior living community that supports vibrant, independent living. As you research communities, here are a few things to think about:
- Location: Do you want to stay near your current home or move closer to family members?
- In what size community would you be most comfortable? Our members like the size of Edgewood. With 217 apartments, 24 cottages, and approximately 300 residents, members say Edgewood is large enough to have a good mix of people and find others who share some of your interests but small enough to make it easy to get to know others.
- Do you prefer a Refundable Entrance Fee or Rental community? Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) like Edgewood are usually Entrance Fee communities in which a portion of your Entrance Fee is returned to you or your estate when you leave the community. Rental communities often are more specific to one type of service such as assisted living, skilled nursing home care or memory support. When you choose such a specialized community, you may need to make one or more additional moves as your needs change.
- What do you enjoy doing? Look at the program calendars for a few months. Do you see programs and activities you would enjoy participating in?
- What qualities do you look for in friends? We encourage prospective members to spend time at Edgewood, attend programs, dine with members (we’re happy to arrange this), or possibly stay in a guest suite. This gives you the opportunity to meet and get to know some of the people who could become your friends and neighbors.
- What amenities and services do you desire? Do you want a senior living community that empowers independent living? Would you enjoy a choice of dining options with varied menus? Do you want a cottage home or an apartment? Would you enjoy the indoor pool, fitness center and classes, our LifeLong Learning classes, and taking trips to museums, cultural events and more? Do you like to take walks and, if so, are there safe places to do so? Would you enjoy having someone to take care of your weekly housekeeping and someone to drive you to doctors’ appointments? How about the convenience of on-site banking? Just like when you chose your current home, make a list of the things that are important to you and take it with you as a checklist.
- What is the reputation of the community? Talk to residents and their family members to get their input.
- Is the organization financially healthy? A reputable, financially sound community should offer to share its financial statements with you.
- Do you like the staff? Are they friendly? Do they know the residents? Is there longevity amongst the staff or does the community tend to have high rates of employee turnover? Is the management team stable? Do they have an active Resident Council that gives residents a voice in the community? Is the Board of Trustees local and involved in the community?