Talking to Your Parents About Senior Living
You, your parents and the Senior living conversation
The roles have changed, and now it’s time for you to look after your parents. So what’s the best way to talk to Mom and Dad about making a move to a senior community? How do you explain all the benefits of senior living? What if they don’t want to listen?
When you need more information and advice on the topic, feel free to call us. We’ll be happy to give you a personal tour and share information about care and costs. We encourage your to meet with the siblings involved with family decision-making and make sure they’re on the same page. You can then decide if a group or private conversation with your parent or parents would be more effective. And when you’ve worked through all these details, the time for conversation will be at hand. And here are our tips for that:
There may never be a perfect time or place, but when you feel a moment happen where the stress is low and a change of subject is natural, that’s your chance.
- Ask Leading Questions
Get the conversation started with questions that demonstrate your care and interest:
What is it about getting older that worries you most?
Are there things you enjoyed doing but can’t do anymore?
Do you ever feel lonely?
What are your hopes for your future?
Active listening is crucial to the success of this conversation. Lean forward, nod, smile when appropriate and maintain eye contact. When you want to interject, place a finger against your lips until they‘ve stopped talking. Paraphrasing your loved ones words – saying back to them “It sounds like you’re saying …” – can also help you stay engaged and listen.
- Bolster Confidence
At The Atriums Senior Living, our residents’ days are filled with choices and exciting events. On the other hand, seniors often think a move to senior living is the end of their freedom. Encourage your parents to keep an open mind and let them know that senior living might not be what it used to. Persuade them, if you can, to visit and tour a senior living community.
- Speak Your Truth
Stay calm and stick to the facts. Share your concerns and observations. Let them know how caregiving affects you. We’ve found that once a parent moves into a senior living community and the day-to-day care and duties have been lifted from adult children, the relationships rekindle and flourish.
- Don’t Wait Too Long…
Seniors, like most people, adapt best when they can take their time, collect the facts, and sort through feelings unpressured. If you wait until a health or life event makes changes necessary, you can expect the circumstances – and the conversations – will become much more difficult.
Help Is Here
At The Atriums Senior Living Community, we’re happy to show your parents around, introduce them to our residents and invite them (and you) to an event. We’ve shared this senior living decision-making journey with families and seniors for decades, and we can help you make a transition for your loved one easier. We’re just a phone call or click away, and we look forward to hearing from you.