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3 Tips for Making the Most of Family Dynamics during a Move to a Senior Living Community

May 3, 2015

This article originally appeared on Angie’s List

Every family has their quirks – good and bad. There’s the one family member who never ceases to voice their opinion. There’s the one who keeps quiet and lets the others dominate decisions. There’s one who just doesn’t seem to understand where you’re coming from. And then there’s you, feeling completely overwhelmed by it all.

As a leader in the senior living industry for over 100 years, we’ve seen our fair share of unique types of family dynamics. We understand that moving to a senior community can be a tough decision and a stressful time, and rightfully so – it’s an extremely important life change. More often than not, those unique family dynamics can increase the strain. Pat Tomczyk, Certified Social Worker on our campus since 1998, shares three tips for dealing with and embracing unique family dynamics.

  1. Elect one spokesperson for the family. Sometimes the senior who is making the move is the one handling all communications themselves. More often, the adult children try to help with details and arrangements, but having multiple adult children all trying to communicate their questions and concerns can make for confusion, misunderstandings, and miscommunications. Elect one family spokesperson to do all communicating with the senior community representative. This person should be readily available and responsive via phone or email, and ideally live nearby to interact in person. This one person can handle forwarding the emails or passing the word along to all involved parties in the family. This helps eliminate repetition and streamline the process.
  1. Ask who you should be communicating with at the senior community. Confusion can multiply when you’re not sure who to ask what. There is usually one point of contact at a senior community to help assist in the whole process of selecting and moving into your new place. Confirm with that person that they are in fact who you can go to with any type of question. While you’re at it, confirm who your point of contact should be when you move in. Usually, it will be someone else, as the person who helped you move in needs to be focusing on the next incoming people, not servicing current residents.
  1. Remember the main goal of why you’re working together as a family. Your goal is to help your loved one because you care. With all the commotion, questions, and anxieties that may be arising, remember the core reason you’re all working together – it’s for the love of that person or people making the move. Try not to lose sight of this goal and remember that above all else, this is because you all care.

Do you have tips on dealing with family stress during a senior move? Let us know by leaving a reply below.

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