Talking to Your Parents About Senior Living: 4 Tips for Adult Children

Talking to Your Parents About Senior Living

Do you think its time to have “the talk” with your parents about transitioning them to a senior living community? You may be worried about how mom and dad will respond. Will they be defensive, thinking you’re trying to take away their independence? It will be a difficult conversation no matter how you slice it, but with these tips you’ll be able to better communicate your concerns without upsetting your parents and putting them on the defensive.

In reality, the conversation starts long before you actually speak with your parents. It starts with research. So…

Do your own research

Before you broach the subject, make sure you’ve done your research and can give an educated presentation to your parents about the senior living options available to them. In your research, you should narrow down the options to what you think will fit best your parents’ needs. This will keep the discussion focused while showing how much you care for their well-being.

You’ll also want to be as educated as you can on the different senior living options available. This way, you can easily deflect and respond to any negative stereotypes your parents may have. There is a lot of research to do, so involve siblings or other family members, delegating tasks so no one person bears the weight of it all.

Relate the community to your parents’ daily life

Ask yourself, “What do my parents love to do?” Do they like to hike, play bridge, cook or paint? Find out how your parents can continue doing what they love and thrive at doing it in a senior living community, inevitably making the transition that much easier thanks to your thoughtful research.

At large, discuss and highlight how a senior living community could enhance their life rather than take away from it. You can do this by showing them activities calendars, menus and floorplans so your parents can really envision what their day-to-day life would look like.

Visit the community with your parents

While you may have an idea of what type of community would best fit your parents’ lifestyle and needs, YOU won’t be the one living there. Be sure not to act as though the decision has already been made in light of all your research. This is why it’s essential to go out and tour multiple communities so your parents can get a true feel for each community.

A great way to help your parents get a sense of the community is to request a meal with current residents or attend an activity. With this approach, your parents can meet other residents and begin to imagine themselves living there. After all, there’s no better way to get a sense of what a community feels like than being there in person — no matter how many pamphlets you may have at your disposal.

Don’t give up

Patience is key during this process. This is a major lifestyle change for your parents, and it can be a long process to convince them a senior living community is the right place for them. By being patient with your parents and truly listening to their concerns, you’ll be able to continue the conversation and, more importantly, begin the process of exploring senior living options and communities.

Look for ideal times to breathe new life into what will likely be an ongoing conversation. For example, when there’s a problem with their house or a major storm that causes power outages and damages, remind your parents of the hassle-free life they could have at a senior living community. Continue to revisit the ways your parents could thrive and have a better life by making the transition from home ownership to a senior living community.

Need help communicating your community’s value to seniors and their adult children? Give us a call at 303.499.9291.

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