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Talking to Your Loved One About Senior Living

elderly man with a cane

Having a conversation about senior living with your loved one can be emotional and overwhelming. It can also be a tough one to start. You don’t want to hurt your parent’s feelings or make them angry, but you also want them to be safe and well cared for.

If you’re well prepared and know what topics you want to address beforehand, the conversation can be one that is caring and beneficial for everyone involved.

How to Discuss Senior Living with Aging Parents

Express Empathy

Above all else, express empathy and be sensitive toward your parent’s feelings. Speak with a calm voice to show that you care and are trying to understand how they are feeling. They have likely spent years in their current home and have many memories attached to it. Holidays, birthdays, and milestones in life were all spent in that home, and it can be difficult to leave.

They may also be scared about their life changing in a way they don’t want. Fear about their relationship changing with you or losing their independence will make them apprehensive about moving to a nursing home. Keep these concerns in mind during your discussion and listen to what your parent has to say.

Include Them in the Conversation

In addition to expressing empathy, you should be cognizant of including your parent in the conversation. Do not approach them as if you’ve already made the decision for them – this will be a poor start to the conversation and likely lead to an argument.

Instead, bring up a nursing home as an option. Explain that the move will make their life easier, keep them safe, and make you happy knowing that they’re being well cared for. They should always feel as if their opinion matters and that they’re being heard. It is their life and as long as they’re able, they should have a say in where they live.

Be Honest

You should be honest with your parent about why you think a move to senior living is in their best interest. Express any worries about their safety, health, or ability to care for themselves. If they recently left the stove on, had a bad fall, or have gone through a similar experience, you can gently bring it up to provide validity to your concerns.

Dispel Any Myths

Many are under the impression that nursing homes are dreary facilities with bored residents. Fortunately, this is not the case.

Nursing homes today are vibrant communities that provide many comforts of home. Each day is filled with activities, family members and friends are able to visit daily, and many homes offer the option of private rooms.

To ease your loved ones worry about losing their independence, try explaining that without the responsibility of keeping up a home they will have more time to do what they love. They’ll be able to meet new friends, have access to delicious and healthy food, and have expert staff available 24 hours a day if they need it.

Take A Tour Together

If your parent is able, tour a few nursing homes together. They can see what the communities have to offer and what the environment is like. Ask about bringing furniture from home and how much privacy residents have. Your parent will want to make their new space as homey as possible.

It may also be beneficial to bring your parent to visit a friend of theirs in a nursing home. They can learn first hand what the experience is like and ease any nerves they have. When it comes time to make a decision they will feel comfortable doing so.

Moving to Shaker Place Rehabilitation and Nursing Center

Know that transitioning your loved one from their home to a nursing center is a process. A decision will not be made in one discussion, no matter how much you wish that were the case. Instead, plan to have multiple conversations about the topic over the series of a few months or even a year depending on their situation.

Once the time has come to move your parent to a nursing home, Shaker Place is here for you. We will take as much time as needed to answer any questions you have. We welcome you to take a tour and experience the warm and comforting environment we provide. We have over 200 years of combined experience caring for seniors in the Capital Region and will treat your loved ones with the dignity and respect they deserve.

To speak to a Shaker Place specialist today, please call (518) 869-2231.