Tips to Talk to Parents About Senior Living
It may seem like there’s never a good time to talk to a parent about moving to a senior living community. But if you do your homework and prepare yourself, you’ll be in the best position to start the conversation.
At Carnegie Village, we can give you more information and advice on the topic. We’ll be happy to take you on a personal tour and share information about care and costs for your particular situation. We encourage you 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.
Relax, Don’t Overthink It
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. Write a list of your concerns for your senior parent. For example, are you worried their house is no longer a safe environment for them? Or is your loved one making mistakes with their medication that could result in a dangerous outcome? What things did your loved one enjoy doing but can’t do anymore? Does he or she ever feel lonely? What is it about getting older that worries you the most? Write down all your apprehensions.
This conversation to transition to a senior living community is not one to have by telephone if you can avoid it. Instead, pick a day when you and your parent are relaxed and able to visit in person. Mark off a set amount of time and a location where you can talk without interruption.
Ask your loved one about their hopes for the future. Active listening is crucial to the success of this conversation. Lean forward, nod, smile when appropriate and maintain eye contact. Open-ended questions are the best way to encourage them to talk. Sit back and really listen to their answers.
Try to paraphrase what you’re hearing. For example, say back to them, “It sounds like you’re saying … .” This can also help you stay engaged and listen.
It’s not unusual for seniors to feel a move to a senior living community is the end of their freedom. Encourage your parents to keep an open mind, and let them know that senior living is not what it used to be. At Carnegie Village, we feature top-notch amenities like a fitness center, a yoga studio, an art studio, a well-stocked library, an ice cream parlor, and a salon and spa. Our residents’ days are filled with countless events, delicious meals at multiple dining venues and activities that are geared to making new friends. Persuade your loved one, 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 renew themselves and thrive.
Don’t Rush, But Don’t Wait Too Long
Once you’re equipped with the necessary knowledge, you may feel ready to make a decision. But your parent may not feel the same way. Allow them the time they need to tell you how they’re feeling. If you can both come to a mutual agreement now, it should be easier to move forward together.
No one likes to feel pressured. Take time, collect the facts and let the senior in your life sort through all their feelings. When a health or life event forces you to quickly make necessary living changes, the circumstances and the conversations will become much more challenging.
Your Inquiries Are Welcome
At Carnegie Village, we welcome the opportunity to show your loved ones around and introduce them to our residents. Both of you can even attend an on-site event to get to know us better. We’ve helped thousands of seniors and families in this senior living decision-making journey, and we’re expertly positioned to help you make a transition for your loved one easier. Please call for a private consultation and a tour: 816-331-7848.