How to talk to your parents about senior living
Talking to your parents about transitioning to senior living can oftentimes be the toughest part of the process. It’s a big, unwieldy subject that can be loaded with emotions, even if it's the right move to make.
The following tips can help you have more productive, positive talks with your parents about senior living.
Start having regular conversations
It’s never too early to start the dialogue about senior living. Even a simple, “What do you think about senior living communities?” can help gauge their initial feelings and provide a starting point from which to plan. It’s not going to take just one conversation, so having regular interactions about how your parents feel and what they'd look for in a new community can build a foundation for candor and help with the research process.
Frame around yourself, not them
No one likes being told what to do, and it’s no different for senior parents. Do your best to frame your conversations about senior living around “I” statements that express your genuine concern. “I want you to be healthy” will be received much better than “You can’t feed yourself well.” This type of language also focuses less on pointing out their problems and more on finding solutions together.
Use specific examples
Building on the framing above, it’s important to use concrete examples when discussing reasons to consider senior living. This can help to overcome any immediate, emotional reactions. “I’ve noticed that you’re having a hard time getting to your room upstairs. Do you ever think about living somewhere without as many stairs?” Combining genuine concern with observable evidence is a great setup for thoughtful dialogue.
Prepare for resistance
Talking with your parents about senior living can be a welcome relief for you and your parents, even if it's uncomfortable at times. While these tips can certainly make the process smoother, transitioning to senior living is like accepting a helping hand. For some, that’s easy, but for others, it’s much harder. In the end, empowering your parents and keeping open lines of communication will help you both make the best decision together.
For even more tips on talking with your aging parents, check out our guide to tackling tough conversations.
Are your parents considering senior living? Come visit a Holiday Retirement community. With robust activity calendars, friendly staff and made-from-scratch meals, it’s senior living at its best.
Learn more about independent senior living at Holiday.