For many families, the prospect of discussing senior living choices with an aging loved one can be uncomfortable and overwhelming. Caregivers may fear their loved one will become angry or reject the idea entirely. As a result, many families delay having important conversations about future care with their aging loved ones. Some families even wait until a crisis arises before addressing their parent’s need for long-term care.
While it can be hard to talk to your parents about sensitive topics such as aging and senior care, there’s no reason to wait until an emergency to arrange better care for your parents. In fact, it’s often a necessary and proactive step to take to ensure the long-term safety and well-being of your loved one. Consider the following tips when starting the senior living discussion with your parents.
Research in advance
Before you start a conversation about senior living with your parent, educate yourself on the different types of senior care available. There are many options for older adults, including in-home care, independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care. The more you learn about these different levels of senior care, the better you’ll understand which senior living option is right for your parent.
Listen to your parent
It’s important to listen to your parent’s wishes, preferences, and concerns about senior living and future care. If possible, try to involve your parent in the decision-making process by researching and visiting nearby senior living communities together. Your parent will appreciate you including them in the decision-making process and helping them understand their options.
Offer support and reassurance
For many older adults, the idea of moving from their long-time home is hard to accept. Understand how difficult the decision may be for your parents and be patient with them as they embrace the thought of downsizing their home. Offer your support and be sure to remind your parents of the many benefits of senior living, including fun activities, convenient amenities, and social opportunities designed to make their lives easier and more enjoyable.
Don’t try to make a decision right away
Unless your parents have an urgent need to move, don’t try to rush the process. Moving to senior living is a complicated process, not a decision that can be made in one day. It’s best to start the conversation early and revisit the topic more than once, especially if your parents resist the idea at first. By getting an early start on the senior living search, you, your family, and your senior loved one will have more time to feel comfortable and confident with any decision.