How to talk to Your Aging Parent About Moving to a Retirement Community
The subject of a retirement community isn’t something that’s easy to bring up to your parent or parents. Especially if they are adamant against even the thought of moving out of the home. So how do you approach this very touchy subject? Well, below are some suggestions that may make the conversation a little easier for everyone involved:
• Don’t push: If you start by having regular conversations about what the future is going to hold and how it worries you, it may be accepted better when it’s time to discuss moving to a retirement community. Parents don’t like burdening their children and will interact better with this type of conversation. So, if you tell them that you’re worried about them and want to be their advocate, it can make a big difference.
• Be sensitive and ask questions: Criticism isn’t the way to go. Yelling or starting an argument will only shut down any communication. It is their lives after all so you need to show real concern for their feelings. So, express your concerns and ask what their thoughts are on the subject and listen. You may mention then as a reply that you feel that there’s a problem and would like to find a solution which everyone will be happy with. Also, suggest the idea then of them indulging you and maybe checking out several retirements communities or assisted living communities to see what the choices are like. Additionally, some facilities will even allow prospective residents to live in them for a week or a month to try them out. This sometimes will take the hesitation out of the choice.
• Focus on the benefits: By going over the benefits of a retirement community, your senior will see that it isn’t just people sitting around. Most communities are very active and have exercise classes, trips, crafts and special events. There’s lots of opportunities to make friends and live a very active fulfilling life. Plus, medical care or any kind of help is only a pushed button or phone call away. Tell them this will ease their minds and yours too.
Having this type of conversation with your loved one can take effort, but going about it the right way can make it a little easier.