Your parents have dedicated most of their lives to raising, loving and protecting you, so when the time finally comes for you to take care of them, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are five important tips to keep in mind when talking to your parents about their eventual move to an Aging in Place facility.
The best way to ensure your parents are prepared for their eventual relocation to an Aging in Place community is to start the conversation as early as possible to give them ample time to think it over. Reassure them that while they don’t have to make any decisions right away, the conversation will be ongoing. That way, even if they’re not quite ready to talk about all the details yet, at least they can start getting used to the idea on their own.
When talking to your parents about Aging in Place facility options, it’s important to keep in mind that this is a major life change for them, and one that brings a range of emotions. Communicate openly with your parents about their options and reassure them that you’re listening to them and will always keep them involved in decisions, no matter how small. Don’t beat around the bush, but also don’t come off as if you’re hosting a family intervention.
Before you sit down with your parents, it’s best to be prepared. Do your research first: learn about the different types of continued care facilities, compare services and prices, and maybe even pick out a few different options you think they would like. This might be the first time your parents have even heard terms like “independent living,” so you want to make sure you can answer all of their initial questions and distill any confusion or wariness they might have with your confidence and reassurance. If you don’t have all the answers that’s ok – honesty is a top priority when having these conversations.
Keep a Positive Tone
Perhaps the single most important thing you can do when discussing Aging in Place communities with your parents is to always keep your tone light and positive. Oftentimes seniors react so harshly to conversations like these because they think their freedom and independence is being taken from them, but that’s not the case at all. Use positive, non-threatening phrases such as “independent living” over “assisted living” and “community” instead of “facility” in your conversations and highlight the amenities and social opportunities to get them excited for the change. It also might help to remind them that aging is a natural process that everyone goes through, and that it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Give Them Space and Time
As the people who loved and raised you for all those years, your parents might not be comfortable with you suddenly trying to take care of them for a change. If they don’t like the idea of moving into an Aging in Place facility at first or actively shut down conversations about it, give them some time and space to process their feelings. It’s likely that they’re just feeling overwhelmed at the thought of this major life change, so don’t push the topic if they’re not ready; make sure they know you only have their best interests in mind.
Learn more about Glen Arden, an independent living community located in Goshen, NY. Glen Arden continuing care retirement community offers a comprehensive program of independent living, enriched housing and skilled nursing – all on one campus.