Talking to parents about retirement living is difficult but necessary

It’s no secret that discussing topics such as retirement living and senior care with aging loved ones is difficult, but there’s also no denying that it’s important. This is especially true if your elderly parent or grandparent is managing a chronic illness, recovering from surgery or recently experienced a fall.

Older adults often place a heavy emphasis on maintaining their independence, and sometimes reaching out for assistance is seen as sacrificing that. However, if you’ve noticed that your mom or dad is having trouble getting around, cleaning  his or her home, or is experiencing symptoms of depression, it’s time to have the talk about assistance, you just have to know how to do it right.

Start early
Perhaps most importantly, you should start the conversation early. Waiting too long to talk about senior living options can make it harder to discuss down the road. On the other hand, if you start going over living options early, it can be easier to plan for the financial impact of the process as well as provide your loved one with the chance to emotionally prepare for whatever changes they may encounter. Even if the smallest effort – simply floating the idea of retirement living – can get the ball rolling and make the process easier later on.

Do plenty of research
If you think your elderly loved one should move to an assistive living facility, do your homework before you broach the subject. Specifically, you should look into what kinds of facilities are best for them and what their specific needs are. Do they need help with activities of everyday living? Or do they simply require assistance with home-making tasks or food preparation? It would be wise to discuss these things with friends or colleagues who have gone through a similar experience.

Be prepared for resistance
It’s important to know what you’re getting into, especially if you know how much your loved one values their independence or wants to age in place. Chances are there will be some resistance to the idea, but instead of pushing back with equal force, it’s a better to highlight the potential benefits of retirement living – improving social bonds and better health, just to name a couple – and let them come to terms with the idea on their own time.