How do you talk to your elderly parents about when it’s time to move out of their home and into a retirement community or senior living facility? The truth is, that while moving is a big adjustment (for everyone involved), studies show senior living communities can extend independence — improving their social life and providing enriching activities for a healthier lifestyle.
With more than 50 years of senior care experience, we’ve put together our best tips on how to start the “Senior Living Chat” to ease your loved one into the idea of a positive change — and ultimately make an unpressured, mutual decision.
Prepare for the conversation.
Have you done your homework? Speak to your entire family (or even your parents’ friends) to ensure you have all the information you need to present your reasoning behind the move. Look at common concerns like:
- Are my parents having memory issues?
- How do my parents feel about home maintenance?
- Are my parents lonely or bored?
- Can my parents still do the things they want to do?
- Am I worried about my parents living alone?
It’s not an easy conversation to have — but going about it the right way can help ease them into the idea and create a smooth transition.
Have the conversation as early as possible.
Unfortunately, many families postpone the “when is it time” conversation for too long. When a medical crisis happens or home maintenance becomes too much, frantically researching senior living options will put unnecessary stress on both you and your parents. To rightfully ensure a facility offers quality care that matches your elder’s needs, preferences, and budget — time is truly necessary to make those informed decisions.
Future plans deserve an ongoing discussion.
Prepare for a long-term conversation and focus on creating an open dialogue. You’re not going to figure everything out in one chat. Asking an open-ended question such as, “What are your plans and goals for the future?” is a great way to kick-start the conversation and go from there. Be sure to write down all questions your parents have, find answers, and follow up later.
Listen, listen, and listen.
It’s completely natural for your loved one to have potential anxieties, concerns, or objections about moving from their home. It’s important to not minimize those feelings or fears. Acknowledging any discomfort and asking questions goes a long way in respecting their wishes today — and in the future.
Arrange a visit to a community.
Touring future residences can help remove some of the anxiety and uncertainty from the equation — making it easier for all involved. The moving process may get more mentally and physically challenging with age, so it is wise to make the transition when they are healthier and can actively participate in the decision-making. Touring senior living facilities allows them to see the convenient access to a wide range of amenities and activities and the opportunity it presents to meet like-minded new friends and develop meaningful relationships.
We hear it all the time from our residents, “I wish I had moved sooner.” Transitioning into a senior living facility offers your loved one’s the freedom to pursue their interests and hobbies, lead a healthy lifestyle, and help you both relax knowing everything is taken care of by our licensed professionals.
Truly, the biggest sign that a move to a senior living community could benefit your parents is that they’re ready to enjoy life to the fullest. Have questions about Lucy Corr’s caring community or complete continuum of care? Contact us today at (804) 748-1511 to schedule your tour.