Tips for Talking to a Parent About Senior Living
May 17, 2023
Having just celebrated Mother’s Day and with Father’s Day fast approaching, you may be spending time with a parent and consequently thinking about their living situation. You may wonder what other options are available to them as they age, and what options allow your loved one to age in place. Many older adults make the move to senior living and thrive in a community focused on senior care that benefits their physical, mental, and social well-being.
Beginning a conversation with your loved one about moving can be difficult. You can follow these tips for talking to a parent about senior living to guide your conversation so it’s productive and empathetic, and helps your loved one think more about their living options.
Five Tips for Discussing Senior Living With a Parent
It’s understandable that you may not know how to begin talking about moving to senior living with your loved one. While these can be difficult conversations, always remember you’re doing this because you care for your loved one and only want the best for them.
Here are five tips that can help you make a plan for your conversation with your parent(s).
1. Start the Conversation Early
You don’t need to wait for health issues or difficulties with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) to talk with a parent about moving to a senior living community. Older adults move to independent living communities and may not need assistance with anything – they move for the community’s culture, amenities and services, and the social programming available.
Living in an engaging environment can have a positive impact on your loved one’s health because it reduces the chances of social isolation and loneliness, two known factors that can affect your loved one’s physical and mental well-being.
When you have this conversation early, you and your loved one have time to explore and plan for the community that’s right for them.
2. Talk Face-to-Face
When you plan to talk in person, you can choose the time and place, and remove the chances of being interrupted. You’ll also be able to read body language and the mood of how the conversation is going.
This is an opportunity for you to directly address your viewpoint to your loved one. You may consider writing down your concerns beforehand so you’re prepared to discuss why you think your loved one may want to consider a senior living community.
If there are other family members concerned about your loved one, you may also want to consider keeping this conversation one-on-one. It could feel like too much if all adult children or other members of the family had this conversation at the same time.
3. Allow Space for Your Parent To Speak
While you may have several points planned to make for your loved one, remember that this conversation may come as a shock to them. You may be prepared, but they may not be. Remember to listen and hear their side of the discussion.
It’s also important to show your loved one empathy. Staying calm and hearing them out is vital to having a successful dialogue. They could address reasons why they’re wary of moving to a community – which you can take note of. Or, they may have concerns of their own about living alone and find they’re looking for help in finding the right community for them.
4. Be Prepared for Another Discussion
This initial conversation is likely the beginning of many; your loved one will need time to think and mull over the idea of moving to a senior living community. If they addressed specific concerns about moving, you can research these topics and help your loved one get more information on senior living communities.
5. Plan To Visit a Senior Living Community Together
Depending on where you get in the conversation, if your loved one is open to the idea of looking at a senior living community, plan to visit one together. This is an excellent way for your loved one to learn more about the benefits of living in a community, see what kind of lifestyles are available, and ask questions to professionals about the care options available in their community.
Visit The Merion in Evanston, Illinois
We understand that as an adult child, you want the best for your loved one. The Merion provides residents with nutritious and delicious dining and plenty of socialization opportunities for a high-quality life. Residents also have a customized health services plan to help them age in place.
Located in downtown Evanston, The Merion is in the heart of the city. Residents can enjoy everything Evanston has to offer – from a bustling area full of entertainment and unique restaurants to being a few blocks to the lakeshore and close to life-long learning opportunities with the Northwestern campus. We’re excited to show you everything our independent senior living community has to offer. Schedule a tour of our community today.