How do I start the conversation about retirement living with my loved one?

As your parents age, you may notice them beginning to rely on your help more often. They might need a hand preparing food, grocery shopping, running errands or even getting to medical appointments. Though you may be happy to assist your aging loved one however you can, at some point, providing extra support may become too much if you’re already tasked with managing your own household and maintaining a career. It may be time to consider options for yourself and your loved one, including retirement living.

Initiating the conversation

While retirement living can be a sensitive subject to broach, discussing options that can help make your loved one’s life both easier and more comfortable is a conversation worth having. Before starting the discussion, be sure to do some research on the different senior living options available near you. You may not want to bring all of this information to your loved one’s attention in the initial conversation, however, as doing so could make it seem like you’ve already made the decision, and it can also be too much at once. Instead, start out by gently addressing your concerns and seeing how they respond to the idea of seeking out additional assistance.

Your loved one may have reservations about moving to a new place and leaving their home at first, but this is understandable. They may have been at their place of residence for decades and likely have an emotional attachment to their home. Gradually discuss the opportunities that could become available to them at a senior living community, such as not having to worry about meal preparation or housekeeping, or discuss the variety of on-site exercise classes and other activities that will be offered to them. There are many benefits of retirement living, and discussing them with your loved one may help them see that a move could be a positive choice.

Including them in the process

When introducing the idea of senior living, it’s important to place the focus on your loved one. Be sure to communicate to them that their comfort and happiness are what’s most important to you. They should know that their opinions, concerns and preferences will all be honoured throughout your collective search for the best possible community. Together, you can decide which type of support they need – independent living, independent supportive living, assisted living, dedicated memory care or long term care. Each of these options provide different levels of support and depend on your loved one’s needs. Do your research to understand which type of residence you should consider.

This just scratches the surface of what to note in your initial conversation about retirement living with your loved one. The discussion should be approached with a great deal of care and respect. For more information on how to broach the conversation and determine which senior living option is best for your loved one, check out Chartwell’s “Supporting a Loved One” guide by clicking here.