As your parents age, especially if they become forgetful or struggle with chronic health issues, you might feel the dynamic of your relationship shift. They used to take care of you, and now it's your turn to look after them. Sometimes, this means finding a senior living community that will provide the level of care and social stimulation they need.
However, convincing Mom or Dad that it's time to make this move can feel like pulling teeth. They may feel apprehensive about leaving the home they love, or believe you just don’t want to take care of them as they age.
If you're having difficulties talking to an aging parent who just won't listen, here are some tips to help them see eye-to-eye with you.
1. Have empathy.
Admitting your parent isn't as independent as they once were is difficult and uncomfortable for everyone involved. Be patient and have a sense of empathy. Your parent may not be used to someone else taking care of them, and they may be scared about their declining body or mind. This fear should be treated with an extra sense of care when you begin the discussion about senior living communities.
2. Treat them with respect.
No matter what your mom or dad’s current state of health, they’re still your parent and they deserve respect. Resist the urge to talk down to them or act like they’re helpless. Be gentle and come prepared to show them that entrusting their care to a senior living professional is truly in their best interest.
3. Be patient.
Finding a new home and preparing for a move is always stressful and emotional, and choosing a senior living community carries that same burden. Tempers may flare and tensions may arise during discussions, so be mindful of this and exercise patience with your parent. Walk away from any argument if it becomes too emotional, and when you return to the conversation, use concrete, positive facts about senior living communities to reinforce your point of view.
4. Make them feel like part of the decision-making process.
If they’re able to express their opinions, ask your parent about what type of facility they might like, the location, and the amenities they’d prefer if they were to make the move to a senior living community. Listen to their preferences and concerns. This will help you narrow down your search and properly communicate your parent’s wishes to any senior living placement agency you may choose to work with.
5. Don’t give up if the first discussion fails.
When adult children first discuss moving their parent to a senior living community, the parent may brush it aside. They hope that if they shut down the conversation, their child won't bring it up again. Don’t get discouraged if this happens — continue to raise the topic and have meaningful conversations about it. Reiterate that you believe this is the right decision for them and tell them all the ways in which their lives will improve by making this choice.
Need help finding the right senior living community for Mom or Dad? Welcome Home Senior Services & Placement Co. offers free concierge services to help you choose the ideal Florida assisted living, independent living, or memory care facility for your loved one. Contact us today to discuss your needs.