Tips for Having “The Talk” About Moving into Assisted or Independent Living
In your gut, you know it’s time for the senior in your life to transition from living at home to living in a community with more support. But, how do you have “the talk”?
Transitioning into senior living is an emotional decision that should be approached with love and empathy. When it’s time to speak with your parent or loved one about making such a big life change, it’s also natural to feel anxious or guilty.
To ensure your senior has a positive experience during this new phase in life, these tough conversations can’t be avoided. You need to speak with them about what’s on the horizon and truly listen to their concerns.
If you need help starting the conversation about senior living, here are some tips we’ve learned while helping thousands of families make empowering transitions to senior living.
Before the conversation, do some research on senior living
First, ask yourself, “What does my loved one need help with?” If home maintenance, cooking meals, and other daily household chores have become cumbersome, independent living could be an ideal choice. Older adults who need more help with Activities of Daily Living, like toileting, bathing, and dressing, will enjoy the extra support offered in an assisted living community.
The ‘Family Resources’ section of our website is a great place to learn about assisted living and other senior living options. If you’re just getting started, begin with Comparing Senior Living Levels of Care. This resource will help you understand what type of community to choose.
Once you understand the level of care needed, you can continue researching in greater detail. When it’s time to talk, your confidence and knowledge will be apparent.
How would you feel in the same situation?
Approaching the conversation with empathy will help you better understand your loved one’s fears, apprehensions, and possible sadness.
Try to speak in a calm and reassuring voice, even if your loved one becomes angry, and genuinely acknowledge and empathize with their feelings and concerns. Remember to take deep breaths and keep focused on the love you share together. From this space, you’ll be able to effectively focus on the benefits of moving into a senior living community, such as:
- Not needing to maintain a home, which leaves more time for hobbies, activities, and spending quality time together.
- A lively community of peers and new friends.
- Reduced chance of becoming injured while trying to accomplish daily living tasks.
When speaking about the benefits, don’t forget to address your loved one’s concerns. If they’re afraid of being alone, explain that you’ll visit them in person often, for example.
Try not to take resistance personally
In all likelihood, you won’t reach a consensus after a single conversation. That’s okay! Resisting change is a completely normal human tendency that’s expected. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to give your loved one time and space to process the idea of moving out of their beloved home.
Resistance doesn’t mean the conversation needs to end, though. Decide on a time to revisit the idea of transitioning into senior living, and keep these tips in mind for every subsequent talk. With enough empathy and concern, your loved one may even begin to embrace the idea.
If your loved one lives in the Denver area, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. You can even schedule a tour of our community, which can be a great way to increase comfort with the idea of senior living and get your loved one excited for the path ahead.
As a local nonprofit, The Argyle has brought high quality and affordable care to Denver’s seniors since 1874. To this day, our caring team remains committed to encouraging independence and preserving the dignity of every resident who calls our community home.