The transitions that many aging adults have to make can be extremely challenging. If you have a loved one who is making this transition then you certainly appreciate all the options that are now available. From assistant living locations to place that are more like traditional nursing homes, there are many opportunities for families who are helping elderly parents or grandparents move to the next stage in life. All of these transitions, however, are far more challenging if you do not have the timely necessary conversations that allow the oldest members of your family to express their wishes.

No one ever wants to talk about end of life decisions, but the fact of the matter is at some point many of us will end up in an assisted living or nursing home setting at some point. And while there are a growing number of options that allow parents and grandparents to age at home, even these situations require specific conversations. Finding a way to have these conversations, of course, is one of life’s greatest challenges.

Do You Have a Loved One Who Is No Longer Able to Safely Live at Home?
Whether you are the child, the grandchild, or another relative or friend who has a loved one who is facing the difficult transition that comes with losing their independence of getting to live at home, it is important that you do everything in your power to facilitate an open conversation. Like many of life’s challenges, discussions about the aging process do not get easier if they are delayed. The best time to have a conversation with a parent, for instance, about what they hope to do when they can no longer live on their own is well in advance of when this situation is a reality. When, for instance, you hear your parent talk about the unfortunate situation that one of their friend’s is facing in an assisted living location or a nursing home, this is a perfect time to ask your own parent what he or she thinks would be the ideal transition for them when it is time to move out of their own home.

The latest research indicates that nearly 40% of all assisted living facilities provide some skilled care for their residents. Finding the right match for your loved one, however, still takes both time and patience. In today’s world where there were already 1.2 million beds available in assisted living facilities by the year 2010, the choices can be overwhelming. Given that not all of these choices were the same, makes this 18% increase from the year 2007 down right frightening.
The Value of Walking a Mile in Someone Else’s Shoes Is Substantial
If you have grow children yourself, perhaps the best way to begin setting the ground work that you need to have with your own parents is to talk to your own sons and daughters. Under the guise of discussing the current situation with their grandparents, for instance, you can talk to your own children about the difficult decisions that you are facing. By rehearsing the difficult topics with your children, in fact, you might be able to better prepare for the necessary conversations with your aging parents.

In a recent survey about retirement, 48% of respondents reported being happier in retirement than expected. Chances are, however, that all of these people were able to make some pretty specific plans for what they wanted to accomplish. The concern, of course, is how the other 52% of retirees are coping with the changes that they are facing.
An encouraging study found that physically active people in their 70s and 80s reported onset of loneliness at a rate of 12.2%. This rather low percentage is compared to the 22.6% reported by their sedentary counterparts. Finding an assisted living location that offers the right kind and amount of scheduled activities, then, can serve as a way to make sure that your aging loved ones are able to live the fullest and most engaged kind of life. Knowing that all of these options are available, however, is not enough. You need to have the necessary conversations.