Talking to your parents about moving to a Senior Living Community.
How to have “The Conversation.”
Rod Anderson-Executive Director, Bridges Senior Lifestyle Living
To parents of teenagers “The Conversation” has a very different meaning but the dread associated with talking to our kids about such a sensitive subject can be overwhelming. As kids of aging parents the thought of having “The Conversation” can bring back those same feelings but becomes necessary when you are concerned about your parents overall well-being. Even though moving to an Independent Living Community can help improve an aging loved one’s overall health, they may see it as losing their independence. Here are some tips to help make it a little easier to have “The Talk!”
Make it an open conversation
As with any serious conversation, you’ll want to make the discussion about relocating as open and honest as possible. Start by addressing the concerns you’re having with your parent and their current living situation. If you are worried about their health, driving capabilities, nutrition, isolation, etc. let them know, chances are they are already aware of some of these issues but just can’t admit that maybe they need a little help. Now let them talk…make sure it isn’t a one-sided conversation or feel like a forgone conclusion. Through discussion, many seniors will come to the same realization, they just have to work it through.
Dispel any concerns right up front
Moving to an Independent Living Community will give them the freedom to do the things they still enjoy without the hassle of cooking, cleaning, maintaining a house or a vehicle. Help them to understand that by moving to a community that takes care of some of those activities of daily living they will actually be able to maintain their independence far longer.
Don’t do it alone
You don’t want them to feel like they are being ganged up on but bringing in another sibling or someone else they respect will help them understand that this isn’t just your opinion but the general consensus of the people around them. If you have certain communities in mind don’t be afraid to reach out and make contact before you talk to your loved one. They can be a great resource in facilitating the conversation and help boost your knowledge and confidence going into what can be a very difficult discussion.
Include them in the decision-making process
Make sure your loved one is involved in every step of the process from choosing potential locations to going on a tour of the community. One of the most important things you can do is take them to see some possibilities, spend some time there, have a meal there, talk to some of the people who live there. Visiting a property can really help them visualize how life could be in a new environment and make it easier to let go of the old one.
Having “The Conversation” doesn’t have to be a ‘confrontation.’ Just be honest, open and up front and your loved one will thank you for it in the end. Don’t hesitate to reach out and let us help. We would be happy to assist in making the transition easier for the entire family.