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Sept. 19, 2020

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How To Talk To Your Parents About Senior Living Options

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It is the little things that add up over time for instance, Mom still drives herself to the store, but doesn’t remember how the car bumper got damaged. Dad has not kept up with the yard chores because his arthritis and bad knee make it too difficult. You have probably already thought about having this conversation, so we have a few helpful suggestions to encourage your discussion about senior living options.

Be prepared before you talk to your parents

Everyone wants their parents to receive the best possible care. Evaluating your main concerns before talking will help. What do you assist them with? Have they mentioned struggling about home maintenance? Do they just need help with medication? Do they need help with activites daily living (ADL)? Possibly your parents can’t drive any more, and the isolation is affecting their mental health. Looking into options for senior living so you have options when it is time to talk with your parents might be your first choice. Senior living in retirement communities are evolving to meet the growing needs of an aging generation. Independent living is a good fit if your parents are still active, do chores for themselves and no help with activities of daily living (ADL). When your parents need more personal assistance other than housekeeping and meals then assisted living becomes an option. There are even more advanced options such as Enhanced and Memory care available. It is important to remember each situation is unique. Prepare for a successful conversation with your parents by creating a comfortable environment. Here are a few tips to help you plan for this difficult conversation:

  • Let your parents know you want to talk to them about something important before you meet with them.
  • Be there in person if it is possible. If you can’t be there, try using a video calling   service.
  • Plan to spend a lot of time together for this conversation.
  • Meet when your parents will be comfortable, well-rested, and not distracted.
  • Limit opportunities for interruptions as much as possible.

How to start the conversation

Set a positive tone from the beginning. mHelp them be at ease, and confident that they are still capable of making good decisions for themselves. You could begin by asking how they made decisions about retirement and planning for their future. Another approach is to ask how they talked with their loved ones about planning for the future when they were aging. Being asked for advice builds confidence, and gives them a voice from the beginning. Choose an area of concern and ask how they feel about that situation. Asking if they are lonely and would like to spend time around people close to their own age, for example. Do they feel safe at home? Do they need help with transportation and daily tasks?

Helpful suggestions for a better conversation

Think of yourself as a guide on a journey gently helping your parents see that it is time to move into a better living situation with the right level of care for their needs. Hearing that it is time to get help can be upsetting. They will understand that you are there to help them if you remain calm, caring, and patient throughout the conversation.

  • Be calm. This is a difficult time for you and your parents, but you have had time to prepare. They may not be ready to have this conversation, and it may be overwhelming.
  • Show your parents you care, and are open to options that provide the level of help they need. Share with them what you have learned about senior living lifestyle and care options.
  • Take your time. Give your parents time to find words to express themselves. How they feel and what they want matters. It is not a race.
  • Be prepared to have this conversation multiple times.

Make a plan

Talking with your parents about moving into senior living may take time. If your parents are not ready to move, make a plan to talk with them again in the near future. This will give them time to think about what was said, and what they want and need for the future. It will also show them that you care and are not just trying to push them into a quick decision. If your parents are open to exploring  options, make an appointment to visit the senior living center that you think will be the best fit for them. Our professional caring staff at The Quarry and Glenwood Place Senior Living would love to meet with you and your loved ones for a tour of our facilities and to help answer any questions you might have.

The Quarry

415 SE 177th Ave.
Vancouver, WA 98683
360-450-4261

Glenwood Senior Living

5500 NE 82nd Ave.
Vancouver, WA 98662
360-200-7703

www.milestoneretirement.com/senior-living/wa/vancouver

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