As our parents age into their golden years, there will come a time when we have to discuss their future plans with them. You might start to notice that your parents are requiring some assistance with their daily routine, or with maintaining their health. You may want to have a conversation with them to suggest some senior living options to help make things easier for them. However, it can be challenging to get the conversation rolling, as some aging parents might see this as a loss of independence and take this offensively. It is not easy, but communicating your concerns and suggestions with your aging loved ones can help them live a safer and more fruitful life in their golden years. Here are some tips to help you bring up senior living to your parents.
Create a List of Concerns
Before you initiate the conversation with your loved one, you should be clear about your concerns. Are you worried about their safety, health, or hygiene? Would your loved one require help with their daily routine? Create a list of concerns you have, and cite specific examples. These clear concerns can help your loved one have a better understanding on the areas they may require help with, and how much you care about them.
Understand What Senior Living is About
There are multiple senior living options available in retirement communities, such as senior assisted living, memory care, or respite care. Before you bring up senior living to your parents, you should be educated about the different senior living options available and the types of services they provide. The more you understand senior living, the better you are able to suggest the most appropriate living option for your loved one.
Talk in Person
It would be best if you are able to come together to have a face-to-face conversation. Choose a location where you can have a conversation without interruption. You should also speak to your siblings, or other close family members. If not, setting up a video call is the next best alternative.
As your loved one enters a new phase in their life, they are bound to have worries, concerns, and objections about moving into a retirement community. Offer a listening ear and acknowledge their feelings. Ask them questions about their worries and concerns, which you can address together at a later date. This will allow your loved one to feel heard and respected.
Arrange a Visit to a Retirement Community
Arranging a visit to a retirement community is one of the best ways to introduce senior living to your parents. Seeing the community in person can give your parents an idea of the lifestyle, senior living amenities, entertainment, and peers they’re likely to have. When they meet the team members at the community, they can also ask questions and raise any concerns they may have. This can help to greatly alleviate their worries and initial resistance in giving senior living a try.
Respect Their Decision
As much as we all want the best for our parents, the decision ultimately lies in their hands. It is our responsibility to raise our concerns about their safety, health, and well-being. Whether they decide to stay in their home, or give senior living a try, remember to respect their decisions. You can check in with them at a later date to see if they have changed their mind, or offer other alternatives for them to consider.