Tips for Talking to a Loved One About Moving to a Retirement Community

Happy seniors talking while sitting in the park
13 Feb 2017

Tips for Talking to a Loved One About Moving to a Retirement Community

Whether it’s a parent or a spouse, talking to a loved one about the need to move to a retirement community can be one of the hardest conversations you’ll ever have. It’s a realization that they can no longer care for themselves or that the additional care you have providing to them has become too big a burden to carry. The reasons are many, but the resulting feeling is pretty much the same – both parties feel sad and conflicted. So how can you make this conversation a little bit easier on you both? Here are some tips you might consider.

Pick a private and comfortable setting

This is not a conversation you want to have in a public place. Pick a setting, like their home, where you have privacy and feel comfortable. This allows you to speak freely and show your emotions without worrying about someone else listening to your conversation.

Site specific examples

Be very specific with the reasons you feel they need to move to a retirement community. Rather than saying “your home is no longer safe,” list specific examples of the safety hazards that exist. Recall specific incidents where they got hurt, forgot to do something or were lacking proper care that gives them a clear understanding of your reasoning.

Offer them choices

When discussing retirement communities, offer some options you have found, but also allow them to weigh in on the matter. Would they like to tour several different communities with you? Was there a certain community they always had in mind? Offering choices will help them feel more in control of the situation.

Listen

Most importantly, allow them to talk and fully communicate how they feel. Let them make a case against why they don’t want to move. This will give you the opportunity to address concerns and really understand how they feel on the matter.

Focus on the positive

Finally, keep the conversation positive by focusing on all the benefits of a retirement community. They will have more social interaction, be able to pursue a new hobby, receive quality and compassionate care and they will still get to maintain a lot of their independence. Maybe they’ve always been opposed to a retirement community, but with a little more information, they may realize all the benefits this brings.

Are you considering have this conversation with a loved one? What are your biggest hesitations or concerns? Leave a comment with your questions and we will reply with some additional advice!

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Comments

  1. Johnny McCarron Says: March 2, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    I really like your advice to listen the things that your loved one says. You really want to be sure that you are understanding of their situation as they are trying to transition to a retirement home. Do you have any other tips about choosing an assisted living facility? I really just want to make a good decision in regards to taking care of my mom.

    • Marketing Says: March 2, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      Johnny, thank you for leaving a comment! We appreciate that you have taken some of our advice to heart. In response to your question, we may also suggest looking for a couple key things to help you identify a top-quality retirement community: 1. Current residents appear happy and well taken care of. 2. There are many social opportunities and activities your loved one could take part in. And 3. You are welcome to stop in, unannounced at anytime to take a visit, see your loved one or talk with a caregiver (i.e. they are open and welcoming). These are just suggestions and there are many more you may include on your list. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can be of further assistance!

  2. Olivia Nelson Says: March 7, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    I like your idea on giving a loved one a choice when it comes to assisted living. I would imagine that having them participate in your search in some way would really help them make the transition. My husband’s mother is in need of an assisted living home so we’ll have to involve her in our search for one.

    • Marketing Says: March 7, 2017 at 7:59 pm

      I’m glad to hear you were able to get some helpful advice from this article, Olivia! Best wishes to your husband’s mother as she begins her search for a retirement community.

  3. Lillian Schaeffer Says: April 21, 2017 at 10:59 am

    I like how you mentioned giving your loved one a few options when letting them know about moving to an assisted living community. My mother is living at home alone, and her health has declined to the point that I don’t think it’s safe for her to continue to live like that. I know she’ll be upset about having to move out, but I think having the ability to influence where she ends up would help her feel more in control, so I’ll definitely give her some options when I talk to her about it.

    • Marketing Says: April 21, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      Thank you, Lillian. We are so glad you here you found our tips in this article useful. Moving is a big change for anyone of any age, but especially an aging loved one who has only ever known their home for most of their lives. We wish you the best possible transition with your mother. In the right retirement community, she will gain independence, socialization and safety.

  4. Leviticus Bennett Says: May 3, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    I like your tip to listen to focus on the benefits of the facility and the community they’ll live in. It’s also important to make sure they don’t feel like a chore you’re unloading. By focusing on the positive, they’ll see that you’re trying to do what’s best for them and not being selfish.

    • Marketing Says: May 3, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      Great comment, thank you! We definitely agree that it’s important to take the time to explain all the benefits and things your loved one has to look forward to in a retirement community. Rather than focusing on the move or the change in environment, focus on this as a new (and exciting!) chapter.

  5. My mother-in-law has been living with us for a little over 6 months due to her physical and medical needs, and I think that it might be time to mover her to an assisted living facility. I really liked your tip to focus on talking about the positive things when you’re having a conversation about moving to assisted living. I’m a little nervous to talk to my mother-in-law about moving out, but if we can find some benefits that will appeal to her like a new hobby like you mentioned, she may be a little more open to looking at assisted living facilities!

    • Marketing Says: May 26, 2017 at 12:43 pm

      Thank you for the comment. We’re glad you found our article and hope it can help you with your conversation with your mother-in-law. Yes, focusing on the positive and mentioning new hobbies are some ice breakers that can help facilitate the conversation. Don’t be discouraged if the first mention of moving doesn’t go so well. It can take several conversations over time to help a loved one understand that it’s in their best interest. Good luck!

  6. Jeffrey Silver Says: June 15, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    I’d add one important note here, and that on the topic of prevention. Before you reach this stage, there are some simple things seniors can do to extend and improve the quality of their lives. The most powerful and important of these is fitness. Getting active and participating in regular physical exercise can do more for mental health than crosswords or chess – and building strength, flexibility and range of motion helps to prevent falls and other injuries that could result in lost mobility. There’s no more important time in life to stay active than the elder years. If you have parents approaching this time in their lives, the time to encourage them to get physically active is NOW! Help them make the most of the time they have. 🙂

    • Marketing Says: June 15, 2017 at 8:33 pm

      Focusing on prevention is a great tip! We could all benefit from taking a proactive role in maintaining our physical fitness, at any age. This doesn’t have to be a huge commitment either, just make 30 minutes of movement part of your daily routine. For seniors, walking, swimming, gardening or chair exercises are low-impact activities that you can modify to fit almost any limitation. Thanks for the great input!

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