Tips for talking to a loved one about moving to senior living
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The upcoming Thanksgiving holiday means that there will be lots of food and conversation during family gatherings. If you or family members have been thinking about talking to a loved one about moving to a senior living community, this might be a good time to start. It’s a chance for siblings to chat face-to-face and for parents to have their opinions heard all while enjoying the camaraderie that comes with a table full of turkey, stuffing and pie.
While some older relatives are ready for this type of moving conversation, others may not be so open to the idea. If you’re anticipating this type of talk, here are some things you might want to keep in mind:
- Don’t blindside the person
A few days before the big day, make sure the person knows that this conversation will be part of the holiday gathering. If they’re not open to having it at this time, maybe you can suggest another date or perhaps a time limit on the subject.
If you need some facts to help you get started, make sure you have them ready. For example: “Mom, you fell in June and in October and we’re worried about you being in the house by yourself.”
- Know what you want the end goal to be
Don’t think of the goal as simply wanting the person out of their current home. Goals that may resonate better include being safe, getting help with chores or seeing people and socializing. These can be achieved by moving to a senior living community, but they may also be achieved through senior at-home care or a community center.
- Use “I” statements rather than “You” statements
“I’m really worried about you” has a very different feeling than “You can’t take care of yourself anymore.” Conversations about moving from a long-time family home into a senior community have a lot of emotions tied to them and being understanding is key to having a positive experience.
Lending an empathic ear is important when having a difficult conversation. Listen to what your loved one is saying and try to understand their point of view.
Maybe the person isn’t ready to make some decisions, so you might think about asking for this conversation in three months. Or find a happy medium where your parent has in-home care for a while. Even downsizing to a smaller home such as a condo might be a good interim step.
In addition to finding a new community, you will need to source a moving solutions company like WayForth to help you downsize, pack and move, clear out the home and make sure all items are stored, donated or discarded. There’s a lot to do, so you want to be realistic about your timeframe.
- Be realistic about expectations
Need more help? Read our blog “Is It Time to Talk About Moving?” for more moving advice.
Imagine if someone told you they wanted you to move out of the home you’ve been in for most of your adult life. It’s a pretty big change. Be realistic about your expectations if this is the first conversation you’ve had with your loved one.
WayForth can be a helpful resource thanks to our comprehensive moving solutions including downsizing, packing, and unpacking in a new home. If you’d like to know more, contact our moving professionals today at 1.844.WAYFORTH.