Talking to your parents about moving to a senior living community may be an uncomfortable and difficult conversation. People tend to get set in their ways or develop an emotional attachment to their home of many years, so change is not desirable. Some may see moving to a senior living community as giving up their freedom or independence. Discussing options and creating a plan everyone agrees to will make the transition to senior living easier. Read further to learn how to have "the talk" with your parents about senior living.
Prepare for the Conversation
Ask yourself how your parents can benefit from a move to a senior living community. Consider their wants and needs. Do they prefer to be independent but want more time to do things that bring them joy? Are they social people that enjoy making friends and participating in activities? Do they need to live in a supportive environment due to mobility challenges or other physical changes? Do they need help completing tasks like activities of daily living? Have they been diagnosed with an illness that will continue to progress over time?
Based on what you know about your parents, it might be helpful to research senior living options prior to approaching the subject with your parents. Does the community offer activities and programs that are aligned with their lifestyle? What type of services and amenities are available? Is there an option to grow into different levels of care as needs change? Doing the research and knowing the answers to questions that may be important to your parents can help guide you through the conversation.
Starting the Conversation
Remember, this is a conversation, not a lecture. Do not talk at your parents. Instead, calmly discuss the "what ifs" of their future with them to let them know you are on their side. This topic is probably scary for your parents, particularly if they don't adjust to change well. Ask them how they feel about their situation and what they think could make it better. Let them know you are there for them and want to help them find the best options for their lifestyle. Be on the same page with other family members and request they speak to your parents separately. This can help ensure the conversation doesn’t feel like an intervention.
Share your research into senior living options with your parents, making sure to highlight the key benefits based on what may be important to them. For example, they may be surprised to learn independent and assisted living communities offer individual apartments so residents can maintain their privacy and independence for as long as they can. With additional support, programs, maintenance, and housekeeping services available, they can focus on the things they enjoy, including spending time with friends and family.
Keep the Discussion About Senior Living Options Ongoing
Do not expect to resolve this topic in one conversation. You probably won't get a decision from your parents right away. Keep the dialogue open and encourage your parents to plan now when they have the time and options available instead of waiting for an emergency when the options are limited.
Agree on some next steps, even if they are small. Visit a senior living community to attend an Open House or event, take a personal tour and meet other residents, or simply enjoy a meal. Including your parents in each step will help move things forward as they experience senior living firsthand.
Exceptional Senior Living Options
Clearwater Senior Living communities have incredible services and amenities from seamless indoor and outdoor living, abundant amenity spaces and multiple culinary venues with a variety of menus to personalized services, and care options for residents to transition as their needs change. Clearwater also offers a secured memory care neighborhood in most communities for those with cognitive impairment. For more information, visit our living options page.
Regardless of the level of care needed, Clearwater Living will take care of the home maintenance and most other chores. All utilities are included except phone services so residents don't have to keep up with multiple home bills each month. Residents and their families are provided with excellent services and open and transparent communication. If you're interested in learning more, contact us at Clearwater Living!