Derek Dunham

The number of older people who live alone at home continues to climb: 13 million in 2015. And, for women over 75, the numbers are even more shocking; 45% live alone, according to a recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer that discusses the negative impact — both on parents and their children — of aging at home. Many seniors aren’t living safely yet refuse to move or even accept basic help. Their adult children essentially become their assisted living plan, putting emotional and physical strain on that caregiver.

One reason for the resistance to move: outdated perceptions about senior living. “Many older adults don’t like the idea of someone telling them when they’ll have their first cup of coffee or turn out the lights at night,” the article states. They don’t understand that senior living communities are not like the nursing home of old where they once visited their grandparents.

It’s up to us to assist adult children and to arm them with correct information and the key benefits of today’s senior living environment to prepare them for that difficult talk with mom and/or dad. One of the most common times for opening the dialogue is coming up: the holidays, when families get together and many times see a change in their parent’s abilities. We’ll offer advice for those tough family conversations in an upcoming blog.