When an older person is beginning to struggle to live independently, families have to work on getting their loved one to agree it’s time to have the “tough conversation,” whether it is about moving to assisted living or having in-home health care provided. According to the Assisted Living Federation of America, men have traditionally been an afterthought in the world of senior living.
With the aging of the boomer generation, men now make up 26% of those residing in retirement communities. When the time came for a friend of mine to have the “talk” with her dad, she said the hardest part was assuring him that he wouldn’t be the only male resident. Another concern was whether or not there would be activities for men that might interest him. Last, but not least, a primary concern was how much independence he would have in assistant living. It is a fact that men tend to value freedom more than women, making these choices such a difficult one for males.
The aging process is difficult for both men and women, but research has shown that men have a harder time adjusting to life changes that accompany the aging process. Throughout their lives, men are conditioned to be strong, controlling and independent. Men can be devastated by the losses associated with aging and may feel they now have nothing to offer to society and may find it very difficult to depend on others.
When the time comes to have the “talk,” be prepared for the tough questions, such as, “What will I do all day?” and “Are there guys my age living there?” Be sure to include your loved one when visiting senior communities, and allow them to ask questions and help make choices when choosing where they will live out the rest of their lives. Retirement communities are aware of the influx of men needing services and are adding more and more activities geared toward men.
Schedule an appointment today at one of Methodist ElderCare’s retirement communities by calling 614-396-4990 or visit www.methodisteldercare.org. Our communities offer amenities for all of your needs.