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Retirement is the time of life you’ve been waiting for — the time when you can enjoy all the things you love to do and explore untold new interests. The lifestyle you deserve is right around the corner now that you’ve decided where you want to live to make the most of this next stage of life. Now, you need to let your family know about your future in a Life Plan Community like eliseo.
Talking about your retirement plans with family may not seem like the easiest conversation, but it’s a vitally important one. A little help to get the talk started never hurts, so keep reading for our advice on how to best inform your family of your plans and help them understand your reason for this big move.
When should you start talking?
Whenever you’re ready, but the sooner the better. Sharing your retirement plans with family and friends early gives everyone involved the opportunity to ask questions, raise any possible concerns and share their own personal points of view. Getting those who are most important to you onboard with your plans in the beginning helps to alleviate confusion and potential disagreements, especially if your own health needs change before moving to your new community. Those same people could also provide valuable insights that you may have not considered on your own, insights that could help you find the future home that’s just right for you. More than anything else, open and honest communication that occurs early in the process will help everyone gain greater peace of mind in the long run.
Don’t be surprised if some or many of the people you discuss plans with ask, “What is a Life Plan Community?” For those who haven’t had this type of conversation before, or even thought about this transition, they may only associate senior living communities with the retirement homes of yesterday. They likely aren’t aware of all the incredible senior living amenities, gourmet dining venues, robust activity calendars and more that are available at eliseo.
What should you discuss?
Whatever you’re comfortable sharing. The point of having this open and honest dialogue is to let your loved ones know about all of your plans and to answer any questions they may have about your future. First and foremost, let them know that you’re moving to a Life Plan Community, not a retirement home. The differences between the two could not be greater. That’s why it’s so important that those differences are made crystal clear. Let them know that eliseo offers beautifully designed Independent Living residences and on-site health care, along with higher levels of care, including Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Short- and Long-Term Rehabilitation. Should the need for these services arise, care is provided at significantly discounted rates when compared to fees incurred by the general public. This knowledge will put loved ones at ease when thinking about future health care needs.
The people who call Life Plan Communities home are typically younger individuals who enjoy full calendars of regularly scheduled fitness and wellness programs that keep them active so they can stay healthier, more fit and live longer. Everything is right in one place to keep you as independent and healthy as possible. An active, worry-free lifestyle offers you the freedom to do more of what you love to do while you’re the ideal age to enjoy it all, and provides your loved ones with the incomparable comfort of knowing that there’s virtually nothing to worry about when it comes to your health.
How to ensure a successful conversation
Understanding what you should talk about and when you should have the conversation are two of the most important things you can know before discussing anything with your loved ones. Now that you have a better grasp on both of the questions posed above, the following tips should help to make the conversation go smoothly.
- You’re not required to share everything all at once. Rather than a single sit-down, your family may respond better to a series of conversations as they learn more about the moving process and new questions arise. This type of information can be a lot to take in, so if things are better understood when communicated in smaller doses, don’t hesitate to take that approach.
- Allow yourself to be patient. While you may not be able to contain your excitement for the future or wait to get things moving, your loved ones could require some additional time to fully comprehend the conversation. Talking about the future is a delicate discussion to have for many people. Be respectful of their emotions, just as you’d expect from them, and allow the pace of your talk to flow naturally, rather than feeling rushed.
- Plan for the right time, but don’t wait for the perfect one. If you find yourself waiting for the exact right moment to talk with your family, you could end up waiting much longer than you originally expected. Don’t spend a lot of time or energy planning for the ideal setting down to the second. What’s most important is that the right people are there to hear you discuss your future.
- You don’t have to do this alone. If the idea of talking to friends and family about this transition is too much to handle on your own, ask for help. A friendly third party can help facilitate the discussion. This can be anyone you trust, including your doctor, care manager if you have one or maybe a friend who has already made their own move to a Life Plan Community. Some elder law attorneys offer consulting services for this specific scenario, which could be helpful if your family dynamics are more complicated than others.
- Above anything else, be open and honest. If you want your family on board with your plans, make sure they understand every aspect just as clearly as you do. There’s no need to make up elaborate exaggerations about why you’ve come to this decision. Simply and clearly state your reasons, share any desires and concerns and allow your loved ones to do the same. Once you’ve all expressed your points of view, it’s much easier to end up on the same page.
Are you ready to make the move?
Transparent discussions with your family can help ease the transition and put plans into place for key tasks like setting a timeline, selling the home you currently live in and figuring out the logistics of downsizing and making the move.
As uncertain as retirement may seem, one thing is undeniable: You’ll get more enjoyment out of these years if you prepare for them early, long before any changes become medically necessary.
Whatever choice you make, make sure it’s the right one for you and your family by getting a clear picture of what your future could look like at eliseo. Contact us by calling 253.319.3947, or schedule an appointment to visit our Tacoma, WA, campus.