If you’ve noticed that your parent is struggling to look after themselves, or you are concerned that they are becoming isolated and would like them to have the opportunity to be part of a community of people, then a senior living community is a possible option. However, talking about the topic of senior living is an emotional one, and it can be easy for the conversation to go awry if you’re not thoughtful about how you approach it.
The most important thing to remember when talking to your parents about their care, is that it is much harder for them than it is for you. Although in reality, senior living communities help older people to maintain their independence and autonomy for longer, and help to improve their quality of life, moving out of your own home and into a senior living community is still a big transition and it’s likely to be one that is difficult for your parent.
When you speak with them remember to have empathy for them, and really listen to what they are telling you. This will help you to choose the right option for everyone, and it will help the conversation to go more smoothly.
A common reaction to the realization that your parents need some help with day to day life is to start dictating what needs to happen next in order to ensure their safety and wellbeing. Although this type of reaction comes from a place of caring, it’s actually not likely to get good results. Your parents may have lost some of their mobility or need a little extra help, but they are still adults who will react best if they are treated as such.
The best way to reach a good solution is to talk to your parents about what their needs are, and also about what they are worried about. You can then bear this in mind when having future discussions with them, and when making your plans, which should mean that the solution that is reached is the right one for everyone.
Start the conversation early
Talking to your parents about their care needs is likely to be a difficult conversation, and it’s likely to be one that you need to have many times before you reach a resolution. As such, it’s a good idea to start talking about possible options as soon as possible, even before you need to start making decisions.
Having conversations as early as possible will also mean that you have more options available. According to Brightview senior assisted living in Rockville, some senior living communities you’re considering may have a waitlist, so it’s important to start researching your options as soon as you think you might be ready.
Having difficult conversations such as ones about care is tricky and potentially upsetting, and so it’s worth planning them to help them to go as smoothly as possible. When you are planning a tough conversation, make a list of the things that you want to cover, so that you can be sure that you stay on topic. It can also be helpful to rehearse the way that the conversation will go, so that you can practice diffusing it if it might get heated.
It’s also a good idea to plan the conversation for a time when you aren’t in a rush to go anywhere, and where you have enough privacy to properly explore everything that comes up.