The only constant in life is change. Many changes are widely acknowledged and celebrated as important milestones in society — losing a tooth, learning to drive, graduating college, marriage, and more. But as we age, the changes that we face often cause stress and worry behind closed doors.
The fact is, more and more of the American population is entering their senior years every day, and the boomer generation is often living many years beyond retirement. These life changes are important to address, for both those experiencing them and their families.
Read on to find a few of the strategies I’ve seen help people cope with age-related change.
Communicating and Listening
Questions of changing needs and independence frequently cause stress for both aging seniors and their families. The role reversal between parents and their children can be a rocky transition, coupled with tough conversations about potential health concerns and mortality.
It’s important to remember, both older parents and their adult children are most likely finding the adjustment stressful!
The best thing to do is to have honest and open conversations with your support system on current and future changes.
If you’re questioning whether your children will be able to care for you in addition to their own family and work commitments, it is best to start talking about such things well ahead of needing these arrangements.
While it can be hard to ask for help from your adult children, this is a natural part of the aging process. This will make sure you get appropriate support and allow you to start planning collaboratively for the right fit for future care needs.
For adult children or other supportive roles, being patient and listening to how a senior envisions their future when change becomes necessary will help them to feel heard, validated, and cared for.
After communicating comes action! I cannot emphasize enough how important starting to plan early can be.
Early intervention plays a key role in promoting the success of future care planning, it helps to break down any barriers that may hinder an individual’s ability to cope with change.
While many of us take years to dream up and plan out the perfect comfortable retirement filled with leisure and family activities, it is frequently the case that planning for declining health in later years is overlooked or pushed aside.
The good news is that there are options available to make your life more comfortable as the years go by. One of these options, assisted living or adult care homes, gives you the freedom to choose to stay at home or live in a facility designed specifically for adults with disabilities.
If you’re approaching age 65 and pondering retirement options, now is a great time to get started considering other later-in-life options and their cost. Planning early will help put a plan and safety cushion in place in the event that you have less income and potentially greater care costs.
Finding Expert Support
Whether worrying about your own long-term health, or finding yourself caring for an elderly parent who is showing signs of dementia, dealing with age-related change can come with a ton of uncertainty and concerns.
Once you start trying to figure out the options, you may find the amount of information and number of considerations overwhelming.
You don’t have to face these big life decisions alone.
Reaching out to a senior care professional can help alleviate the burden of getting “caught up to speed” on the options. They can provide you years of expertise and insights to ensure that the best fit for your needs is found.
If you are looking for a solution tailored to your needs but aren’t sure which one is right for you or a parent, a senior placement professional can help.
Senior care professionals will work to understand your unique family needs and preferences to match them up with the elder care alternatives that will work best.