The decision to move your parents into a senior independent living community is rarely an easy one. You are making a choice about the health and well-being of your parents, and that requires a great deal of consideration for everyone involved. Whatever questions you may have about the process, your parents are going to have questions of their own, as well.
You’ve come to the right place for answers. At Oak Trace, which is nestled in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, we are here to help guide you and your family through the process of transitioning from your parents’ current home to the community we hope they’ll come to think of as their own. Here we’ll provide you with the key points you’ll want to keep in mind as you prepare for your parents to begin the next chapter of their lives.
Educate your parents on the benefits of independent living
The last thing you want to do is push your parents into making a decision they’re not comfortable with. Patience and understanding are essential as you walk them through the benefits of independent living. If an active lifestyle appeals to them, reference the calendar of social, cultural and educational programs at Oak Trace. If wellness is a priority, highlight the comprehensive health and wellness program and the various amenities available to them.
Remember that there are two sides to every conversation and what they have to say is as important as what you have to say. If your parents are apprehensive about the move to independent living, identify the roots of those feelings. Is it financial concerns? The fear of losing independence? The thought of leaving behind their home? Don’t minimize their fears. Talk through them and help eliminate the unknowns that are holding them back.
Try to involve a trusted source in the discussions with your parents, whether it be their doctor, attorney or financial advisor. Your parents deserve guidance and reassurance from your first conversation about independent living all the way through move-in day.
Set realistic expectations for how your parents will adapt
We’d like to be able to tell you that your parents will feel right at home the moment they step foot on our campus, but everyone adjusts to a new environment at their own pace. It’s important to understand that an adjustment period is not only to be expected, it is also completely normal. Your parents may be leaving the home they’ve shared together for decades and settling into an entirely new living experience at a retirement community. Getting acclimated will take time.
Our team members and residents will welcome them with open arms while affording them the space they need to settle in. The meaningful relationships forged between the residents at Oak Trace is what fosters the unmistakable sense of community.
Ensure all community costs and fees are surprise-fee
Cost is an important factor when transitioning your parents to independent living. In fact, the financial aspect can be a stressful topic for many families. To do our part to help ease the process for you, we are transparent about our fees and what exactly they pay for.
To help cover the cost of community operating expenses, we charge a one-time entrance fee. The total amount of the entrance fee will be calculated based on the size of the residence and the number of occupants. In addition to the entrance fee, a monthly fee is charged to cover the services and amenities associated with independent living at Oak Trace.
We’ll answer any questions you may have about either fee up front.
Find accommodations for different levels of care
If one of your parents requires a higher level of care than the other, you don’t have to shop for different solutions for each of them. It’s all under one roof at Oak Trace. Your parents would have the option to share an independent living apartment and have personal care services brought in for the spouse in need allowing them to remain together while ensuring the caregiving spouse has the support they need.
Alternatively, your parents would also have the option to move the spouse in need of care into the health center immediately, while the other settles into an independent living apartment. Both would be close together in the same community and your more independent parent would be able to visit their other half whenever they choose.
Be prepared for the road ahead
At the end of the day, you want to be able to trust that your parents are in good hands, both now and in the future. The reality is that there is no telling what the future may hold, and independent living may not be what your parents need long-term as their health changes. The Life Care program at Oak Trace is a cost-managed plan that ensures your parents have priority access to assisted living, memory, skilled nursing care and rehabilitation services, when needed.
The intention of Life Care is not only to provide peace of mind, but to offer financial security. Because only a small percentage of older adults have a long-term care policy, many are vulnerable to financial troubles should they require greater levels of health care. With Life Care, you can take comfort knowing that your parents have access to a wonderful lifestyle, an array of services and amenities, and that their assets and estate are preserved and protected.
Don’t underestimate the moving process
The most difficult part of moving your parents to an independent living community is the move itself. In many cases, it can be more challenging and time-consuming than you might think. Sorting, organizing and packing your parents’ belongings is no small task, especially if they lived in their home for a long period of time. Aside from the physical labor, the process of packing can be emotional, as well. Your parents may have difficulty saying goodbye to their home, and determining which of their belongings will make the move.
The good news is that you’re not on your own. At Oak Trace, our “Smooth Move” program can lend a helping hand. Whether you simply require assistance or need us to coordinate every aspect of the moving process, our level of involvement is entirely up to you. We’re here to help.
If you think Oak Trace would be a good fit for your parents, let’s talk. Fill out the form below or give us a call at 630-769-6100.