Whether living in a seniors’ residence, inlaw suite or independent living, home care can be vital to seniors continuing to thrive

Senior residence or independent living? Tough decisions begin with a conversation

Start the discussion about a senior’s wishes before you need to

To move or not to move? That’s the question many seniors and their families eventually ponder.

But with many emotion-laden factors to consider, the most important message is not to wait until a move is imminent before broaching the subject, says Kathy Tough, owner of Victoria’s Serenity Home Care with husband Murray.

“You need to start the conversation long before it needs to take place,” Kathy says, recommending everyone from the senior and family to financial planner be included.

“These can be challenging questions, and no one answer is right for everyone.”

As conversation starters, here are some questions to consider:

  1. If mom or dad is still in their own home, do they want to stay there, downsize into a condo or inlaw suite, or would they prefer a seniors’ residence? “You may not be ready to move yet, but go and have a look at what’s out there,” says Kathy, whose work takes her into the homes of many seniors who are weighing these options.
  2. How do they like to spend their time? “You want to make sure they can still continue with their social activities. If going to church is important to them, you don’t want to choose a residence that’s a long way away,” Kathy notes.
  3. Similarly, what type of neighbourhood would they enjoy? Is urban accessibility to shopping and activities important or would they prefer a quieter location?
  4. How much space do they want? After living in their own home for years, it can be challenging to leave furnishings and belongings when downsizing, but professional organizers can help. Regardless of the type of accommodation, many options in size, room configuration and cost are available, and home care can be a good way to help seniors manage cooking, cleaning and health needs.
  5. Are they social? Are they keen for a residence where communal meals are part of the package, or would they prefer more independence?
  6. What about transportation? Do they drive or will they rely on transit, taxis or caregiver support?
  7. What is their budget? Consider the extras of the various options, such as meals, transportation and utilities.
  8. What services are needed now and in the future? “Some facilities are more suited to aging in place than others,” says Kathy, whose Serenity Home Care can also bridge many of those needs for seniors wanting to live more independently.

Whether they choose a seniors’ residence, inlaw suite or independent living, home care can be vital to seniors continuing to thrive. From driving to appointments or a favourite activity to meal preparation and medication monitoring, home care offers a consistent, personal connection and a bridge between seniors, their health care team and families, especially those out of town.

“Care is there in whatever form they need, from a single appointment to ongoing visits; we are there to help,” Kathy says.

***

Serenity Home Care provides both companion services and home care. Visit on Facebook or learn more at seniorhomecarevictoria.ca.

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