When it comes to making the assisted living decision, there’s a big difference between a senior who says “No” and one who says “I’m not ready yet.” A flat out “no” likely means your loved one intends on staying right where they are for the foreseeable future. But “I’m not ready yet” conveys a very different message. One that often requires a few detective-like skills to uncover what the older adult actually means.
When a Senior Loved One Says “I’m Not Ready Yet”
For most older adults, “I’m not ready yet” suggests that they’re open to the idea but still have reservations about it. As family members, we can help our senior loved ones express these reservations and resolve them.
But before we can do this effectively, we have to understand what “I’m not ready for assisted living yet” really means. Here are some ideas to help you better translate what your senior loved one is really saying.
Translating “I’m Not Ready Yet”
Hesitation and uncertainty are natural responses to the idea of change. This is a big decision for most seniors so the confusion they might feel right now is perfectly understandable.
Hopefully, this information will help you determine what your senior loved one is really saying so you can work together to make an informed decision.
1. “I’m Afraid of All These Big Changes”
This is one of the most common concerns that older adults have when they consider moving to an assisted living community, but it’s also one of the most difficult to express. To keep things in perspective, remind yourself what they’re facing: a new life in an unfamiliar place. Throw in all new people and you’ll understand why your senior loved one is feeling so anxious.
But don’t worry–the fear of the unknown is normal and one that can typically be overcome. With patience and few heart-to-heart talks, you can find out what changes frighten your loved one the most and address them.
Information is usually the key to reducing or eliminating the fear of change. Helping your senior loved one learn more about assisted living might help them begin to feel better.
2. “What if I Don’t Have Enough Money”
Finances are another common concern for seniors when they consider assisted living. Fortunately, there is a wide range of pricing for assisted living communities, and it’s often much more affordable than you think.
You can help with this fear by going over your senior loved one’s finances with them and exploring the different ways to pay for assisted living. Reminding them that many of the expenses they are incurring now will be included in their monthly fees may also help calm their concerns about money.
3. “I’m Afraid I Won’t Fit In With the Other Residents”
The desire to be accepted is a permanent part of human nature, not something that goes away just because we grow older. So when your senior loved one says they’re not ready for assisted living yet, there’s a good chance they might be feeling anxious about fitting in when they move to an unfamiliar place.
There are several ways you can help address this concern. First, encourage them to maintain relationships with the family and friends they have now. It will be so easy to invite old friends over for dinner or to attend an event after the move.
Second, get the senior involved in the search and have them visit communities for more than just a tour. Most assisted living communities welcome prospective residents to join them for meals and life enrichment activities.
Readiness for Assisted Living
We understand that you don’t want to force your senior loved one into a decision as important as this. So getting to the bottom of how they are really feeling is the best way to plan their next chapter in life.
Contact us today for more information or to set up an in-person tour of one of our communities. Seeing the vibrant living that takes place every day in Five Star communities might be all the persuading your loved one needs.