At different points in our lives, we are forced to have difficult conversations with friends or family members. Many adult children say it is especially tough to broach the subject of moving to an assisted living community with an aging parent. It can be so intimidating that adult children often delay the conversation until a crisis occurs.
Avoiding this talk, however, may put a senior’s well-being at risk. If you wait until a crisis occurs, such as a medication error or a fall, you might find yourself looking for a community during a very stressful time.
3 Tips for Talking with a Senior Loved One about Moving
Here are a few suggestions for having a productive and empathetic conversation with an aging parent or other senior loved one:
1. Research and visit senior living communities.
Before you initiate this conversation with your family member, take time to research and learn more about assisted living. When you are well-informed about the features and benefits of assisted living communities and what is available nearby, you can effectively answer their questions and concerns.
Researching communities online and making a few in-person visits on your own can give you the confidence to explain why this move will improve your loved one’s quality of life.
2. Have realistic expectations.
Don’t think you can resolve this issue in a single conversation. Unless you are in the midst of an emergency, it isn’t realistic to expect this will be a one-time talk. This is especially true if you and your aging loved one haven’t tackled this subject previously.
In most cases, the decision to move to an assisted living community is a process. You will likely have a series of discussions with your family member before setting up tours for them at assisted living communities.
3. Try to put yourself in their shoes.
Before you talk with your loved one, think about how you might feel in their situation. Many seniors have lived in their homes for decades and the decision to leave can be emotional.
You will likely need to help overcome some of the fears and myths your family member might believe about assisted living communities. For example, many think assisted living residents are required to participate in activities every day or give up their independence and privacy. Buying into these myths can make an older adult resistant to any type of change.
It will also help if you remember the losses seniors often experience. In addition to declining health, some have lost a spouse or a child. Many have been forced to give up driving. The prospect of leaving the family home is yet another loss in their eyes.
Visit a Sunrise Community Near You
If you are preparing to have this talk with an older loved one, we invite you to visit a Sunrise community near you. One of our experienced team members will be happy to answer your questions and take you on a private tour. Call us today at 888-434-4648 to schedule a time!