Talking to your parents about senior living options

Starting the conversation with your aging parents.

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Posted on Tuesday November 26th, 2013

When it comes to talking to your parents about moving to a senior living community, it’s never an easy discussion. For some, simply mentioning the words, “nursing home” or “retirement community” is taboo. But experts agree that while broaching the subject is one of the hardest conversations you’ll ever have, it’s definitely one worth having early.

Early, regular communication is key.

By starting the conversation sooner than later, you’re laying the groundwork for further discussions. Rather than having one big discussion, having several compassionate, yet honest conversations can lessen the sting and make your parents more receptive to the idea in time. Instead of telling them what they should do, the conversation should also begin with expressing your genuine concern for their well being.

Facing resistance.

Of course, there’s always a chance mom and dad will flat out refuse to entertain the idea of moving to a senior living community. If this is the case, you should probably back off for a while. Especially when you consider there will likely be more opportunities to raise the subject again over time. Just be sure to keep your emotions in check, and remember they’re still your parents, so you should always be respectful.

Exploring senior living options.

If your parents are receptive to visiting a senior living community, you should act fast to set up tours at local communities. It’s also worth pointing out that most communities allow prospective residents the opportunity to live in the a residential apartment in the community for a week or a month on a trial basis to experience the resident life.  And as always, be sure to involve your parents in all research and decision making.

Video: Making the decision.

Laura Jackson, daughter of a resident, on their decision to move her mother to Lutheran Life Villages.

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