How To Talk to Your Elderly Parents About Senior Living

There comes a point in the lives of many grown children when they have to have the dreaded talk with their elderly parents. This talk involves assisted living. 

For many people, it’s scary to grow old. As people age, they often face a myriad of stressors simultaneously. These stressors often involve health problems, a decrease in their functional abilities, and other blows to their independence. 

To figure out how to have this conversation tactfully, consider the suggestions below. 

Research and Educate

Before you have this talk with your elderly parents, you need to research what senior living entails and educate yourself. 

Start off with exploring the options that senior living offers. These communities may involve:

  • Independent living
  • Assisted living
  • A nursing home
  • Age-restrictions
  • Continuing Care Retirement 

The right choice for your parents depends on their needs and the level of care they require. After the initial talk, parents should be included in this process. Take the time to sit down with them and examine the different assisted living facilities available. 

Prepare for the Future

This talk should be something for the future, not something imminent. If you wait until it’s too late, the sense of urgency will likely make your parents feel like they are backed into a corner. 

For you to have the patience, you need to treat this issue with tact; you need time. Understand that this talk should be an ongoing, evolving conversation. 

Word Things Wisely

After doing your research, consider the connotation of the words you will use in this talk. Words like facility can sound intimidating. Instead, you can refer to senior living facilities as senior communities. 

Make sure to keep these talks light and bright. Most importantly, make sure to engage your whole body listening skills — make eye contact, listen fully instead of just waiting to talk, keep your hands empty and your body still. Show your parents you are thinking about what they are saying and care about what they say.

Shop Around Together

After researching the different senior living facilities available, take the time to tour some with your parents. It may help them feel relief to see the lifestyle and amenities offered in real life. 

Another great idea is to visit friends or family that are already living in a senior community. 

Empathize with Elderly Parents

Taking care of elderly parents is difficult for both children and the parents themselves. Showing a bit of empathy for them can go a long way. 

Many elderly parents are scared to move out of their homes. Imagine what it feels like to have your independence threatened or your competence to care for yourself questioned. It hurts, and it can make your mortality seem frighteningly near. 

Implementing These Tips

It can be challenging to get elderly parents on board with moving to an assisted living facility, which is why these communication strategies are crucial. Try to have the talk as early as possible, long before it’s actually needed. Remember to remain patient and talk to your parents with love and compassion.

If you found this article helpful, you may enjoy browsing other articles in our recent posts.

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