Tackling tough conversations: How to navigate 5 steps in a senior living move
It’s never easy to explain to a loved one that it’s time to move; and that conversation can be trickier when initiated by an adult child explaining this to his or her aging parent.
In this free e-book, Holiday Retirement and Dorian Mintzer, MSW, PhD, licensed psychologist, career/life transition coach and author, help adult children navigate the series of steps and conversations associated with a senior living move.
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Moving to a senior living community: How to deal with a resistant parent
Although moving to a senior living community may be in the best interest of an aging parent, that does not mean the idea is always welcomed with open arms—at first. Here are three tips for discussing a senior living move:
- Understand their perspective. Moving can be frightening. Remember when you first moved away to college or a new city? For aging parents, moving to a senior living community is a big change and an even bigger step out of their comfort zone. By empathizing with their situation, you are better able to approach the experience from their perspective.
- Emphasize your aging loved ones’ health. Make it readily known that the well being of your aging parent is your top priority. If you are concerned about his or her health, eating habits, or social interactions, reiterate your intentions and focus on the positive benefits a move to a senior living community can have on his or her quality of life.
- Find a place that fits. Research. Research. Research. One of the most important aspects of helping an aging parent move from his or her current home to a retirement community is making the move appealing.
Maybe your parent is looking for a place with plenty of activities and events or perhaps he or she will not consider moving to a community without a beautiful garden and plenty of walking space.
Consider these important factors for your parent when researching senior living options. After researching and identifying a senior living community your parent is interested in, plan a visit and ask as many questions during the visit and tour as it takes for your parent to feel comfortable.
Read this article for a full list of senior living conversation do’s and don’ts.
Five tips to have an amicable, respectful conversation about senior living
When introducing the topic of senior living to a parent for the first time, it is important to remember all of the different options available and not assume your preference will also be your parent’s first choice.
For example, if an adult child lives far away from his or her parent, the adult child might think the parent should relocate to a senior living community near his or her home. However, a parent may not want to leave his or her friends or the community.
Remember to keep the spectrum of options in mind, and aim to understand how your parent feels about each one.
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3 creative ways to discuss senior living options
Sometimes a parent’s perception may not align with reality, or he or she might be resistant to the overall discussion. Perhaps a parent insists he or she is too healthy or too young to move out of his or her current home. If this is the case, consider the conversation in a more creative way with these ideas.
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Not sure if a senior living community is right for your loved one? Visit HolidayTouch.com/why-move to weigh the benefits of aging in place or aging in community.