Jim McFarland hadn’t planned to move into a senior living community. The former New York City detective, now 90, was living alone in an apartment near his family. He thought living alone meant more freedom, but began to feel like he was living in a cage. He was depressed, withdrawn and lonely. McFarland’s children finally told him something needed to change. They asked him to consider moving into a Brookdale Senior Living community.
“I thought the last place I wanted to be was senior living,” said McFarland, who now lives in a Brookdale Senior Living community. “But let me tell you, here, I’ve got my freedom. I’ve made friends and it’s just a better spot to be in. My spirits have been elevated quite a bit. I’ve told my kids, this is where I’m staying.”
McFarland’s story reflects the findings of a new survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Brookdale Senior Living that asked 2,000 Americans about their plans for the future. The survey found that, like McFarland, most adults don’t plan to live in a senior living community. In fact, 61% of survey respondents said they want to stay in their current home, even if they have to live alone.
Meanwhile, 58% of adult children polled worry that their aging parents will need senior living assistance and the same percentage of people said talking about senior living was uncomfortable and stressful. It doesn’t have to be.
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“The survey confirms what we see when families walk into our communities every day,” said Mary Sue Patchett, Brookdale’s executive vice president of community operations. “Many people wait to talk about senior living until there’s a traumatic event or they need to make a fast decision. Many seniors know they need help, but they don’t want to ask for it because they’re afraid of losing their independence or becoming a burden to their children. Instead, they suffer silently and often in isolation. My advice is to have the conversation sooner rather than later.”
- 6 out of 10 people said they’d live alone and stay in their current home
- 65% of Americans are not saving money to pay for senior living
- Most people think they need to be to start planning for retirement at age 47
- Half of adult children have not talked to their parents about paying for senior living
- 36% would consider assisted or independent living.
According to Brookdale’s new survey, more than 40% of adult children have no plan in place for their parents in the event of a medical emergency or sudden passing. Nearly half of all adults surveyed said they do not have a plan in place for their own later years, yet three out of 10 adults said they would consider moving into a senior living community.
Discussions about the future and the need for senior living can create apprehension and lead to emotional conversations. The data shows that many families avoid the conversation altogether. Brookdale’s caring professionals and online resources help make the conversation go as smoothly as possible.
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