Having “the talk” with Mom and Dad

You just shared the holidays with mom and dad and you are concerned – you noticed they are having a difficult time getting around, their apartment is a mess, and while you can’t put your finger on it, they just don’t seem as “with it” as they have in the past.

It may be time to have “the talk” about moving to a senior living community. The decision is highly personal and depends on a number of factors, but it is time to initiate the conversation and approach the issue in a respectful manner.

Starting the process

Starting to talk about a move as early as possible is better than waiting for a serious health event to happen. A proactive discussion when everyone is well, will make it easier in the long run.  Keep in mind these decisions aren’t something you are going to accomplish in one conversation. Find a time and location when everyone is relaxed to open up the first discussion. Remind them this is more about improving their quality of life and peace of mind, than simply a housing option.

Do your homework

Research is key. Do your homework on local senior living communities and see what they’re all about. What level of care does my parent need? What services and amenities are offered? After an initial search, plan an in-person visit. Take a tour, enjoy a meal in their dining room, observe interactions with staff and residents, and note cleanliness of public space and general grounds. From one visit you will be able to see if residents are happy and if it feels like a good fit for mom or dad.

Understand the financial aspect

It’s no surprise that long-term senior options will be a large expense. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to help avoid the strain of finances during this transition. Meeting with a financial planner, understanding costs and determining your personal finance options will be key in planning ahead and figuring out how you can best afford the right retirement option. Proactive planning before a health issue forces a decision will alleviate stress when trying to secure financial means.

Anticipate some pushback

It is natural that some loved ones will not welcome the discussion. Everyone should have a role in where they live, so it is important to remain positive and not come across like you are trying to dictate. If you are having a difficult time getting the ball rolling, consider opening up the conversation by inserting yourself. “Mom, I was talking with Lisa and she was asking what John and I wanted to do as we got older and found it more difficult to live by ourselves. Then, I thought that I wasn’t even sure what you and dad wanted so I thought we should at least start talking about it.” At the end of the day, both you and your parent are looking for the best solution to having a safe, independent and social living environment that ensures a great quality of life and overall wellness.

These conversations can seem daunting; however, all experts agree that the sooner you can engage in these discussions, the better it is for both parents and their adult children. The experts at Elder Care Alliance are available to help you navigate the process and make informed decisions about the best possible living environment.

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