Moving your parents or another senior to a retirement community is a difficult decision for everyone involved, yet there comes a time when you know the move will help your loved one be well cared for in all the ways they truly need. It could even be the right decision for your whole family. When a move like this seems like the best option, the next step is to figure out how to convince your senior parent to move.
With our many years of experience, we wanted to share how to best talk to your loved one about entering retirement living. If you need extra support or find yourself unsure of how to get started, don’t hesitate to contact us at Village Green Retirement Campus. Our expert staff can act as consultants to help you figure out how to assure your parents or other loved ones that a retirement home is the right decision.
When Is It Time to Move to Senior Living?
The first part of this journey involves observing signs that your loved one shouldn’t live alone or could use extra care. Maybe you have been noticing signs of decline or that your senior loved one needs extra assistance with their everyday routine. These signs could include:
- Poor hygiene
- Unpaid bills
- An unkempt personal appearance or home
- A lack of food in the fridge and cupboards
- Significant memory issues
- Weight loss
- Changes to mental or social health
- Falling or other unsafe conditions
- Lack of attention to their environment
These are some of the main signs that will become apparent when considering moving a parent to assisted living or other senior living arrangements. These observations can help you discuss the situation with your parent, and better understand the type of housing that is needed.
Nonetheless, active and independent seniors may want to downsize and move from their homes to a senior living community. There are different options to meet their activity level and needs. Rather than moving your parent into a nursing home, start with options that offer more independence such as assisted living, independent living, or 55+ senior housing. A retirement community offers a full activity schedule, a social life with other residents, and a safety net of support when needed.
Starting early may help with the process of talking to your parent. For example, you may find it easier to figure out how to convince a parent to go to assisted living, independent living, or 55+ housing compared to getting your parent to move when they are older, more set in their ways, and need much more care. Once your parent has made the move to senior living, it could be easier to transition them through different levels of care if needed in time.
Still not sure of what specific things your senior might need? No problem, we at Village Green are here to help and can speak to your particular situation as you figure out the needs of your loved one.
What Is Your Loved One’s Perspective?
If you’re wondering how to talk to elderly parents about moving into a retirement community, put yourself into their shoes for a moment. Imagine how difficult it would seem to leave your home and move into an entirely new space and community. You'd be leaving the place you called home for many years or even decades. It may even be the family home where you raised your children and experienced a lifetime of memories. You'd probably have sentimental attachments to the home and the many belongings that sadly need to be rid of when downsizing.
In addition, you would likely have fears and anxieties about selling your home, what moving into retirement indicates for this next life stage, and the overall moving process and uncertainties of your new living situation. What if you didn’t like it there? What if you lose other faculties as you grow older and have less independence and freedom to move around? And not to forget the difficult thoughts about being in your final stage of life. As we get more set in our ways throughout our lives, change becomes increasingly difficult, often scary and stressful.
On top of imaging what your loved one is going through, you can ask them about their thoughts and feelings. Once you have a better idea of their experience, use that experience from a place of compassion and understanding when you consider how to discuss a move with your parent.
Village Green has helped hundreds of Seniors adjust to a new life and to face the fears of the unknown. Feel free to reach out to our staff to assist you in understanding your parent’s perspective and what they might be experiencing during this time. We know everyone copes with change a bit differently, so we have a wide depth of knowledge in how to help you both navigate this new season
What Do Seniors Look for in a Retirement Community?
Your parent may have a negative viewpoint of senior living and what their life would be like there. You can offer a different perspective by showing them what modern retirement communities are really like. Find information online to share, and try to bring them on a tour of communities. Your parent may be surprised by the social life, amenities and activities offered that could enrich their daily life and help them age gracefully.
If you’re thinking, my parents are planning an active retirement, show them the level of independence they could have with different senior housing options. Point out the dining, outings, and activities offered. Your parents may find that assistance with cooking and other help offered by the community frees up their time and efforts to be active in other areas.
When considering Village Green Retirement Campus, show them a virtual tour, amenities, and activities so they can see what to expect. Share reasons why we are one of the best retirement communities in the Seattle area. Then, reach out to see available housing that suits your needs and set up an in-person tour. Our staff of experts can lend a hand in shedding light on your particular situation.
What Can You Do When Your Elderly Parent Refuses to Move?
If your parent is against moving, try these tips:
- Give Time: Share your concerns and observations about their need for help. Also, provide information about senior living. In time, they may make the decision to move on their own, in their own time. Instead of trying to force a big move all of a sudden, slowly bring up different concerns over time and question whether assistance would help your parent. Keep trying.
- Ask Your Parent(s) Questions: Ask about their desired future and their preferences, and use their answers to guide the conversation.
- Listen: If you meet a lot of resistance, ask your parent open-ended questions to allow them to process through their fears and worries about the future. Listening to what may be holding them back will not only help you to empathize but also gives them space to start to consider their next steps.
- Stay Objective: Try to focus on facts and information without being too emotional or opinion-based.
- Ask for Help: See if your siblings and other loved ones, as well as a doctor, can talk to your parent. If many voices are saying the same thing, they may listen.
Our team at Village Green is here to offer guidance on how to get parent into independent or assisted living. Not only do we have the knowledge of meeting their specific needs, but we also have a caring staff team who will be with you and your parent every step of the way. As the saying goes it often “takes a village” and we would love to welcome you and your parent into ours.