father and son conversation in the kitchen

How to Prepare for the Conversation

You know the conversation about senior living needs to happen, but you aren’t sure where to begin. Sound familiar? If this rings a bell, before you give them a call and announce the news, it’s important to take a step back and think through what the discussion is going to look like—and how you can best prepare.

Whether you’re the one who will be moving to senior living, or its your parent who will, there are a few ways that you can be ready to talk about the prospect of embracing the next chapter of senior life.

Tips For Talking To Your Parent About Senior Living

Perhaps you feel like your mom would be safer in a community setting, or you think your dad would have more nutritious meals if he didn’t have to worry about cooking for himself. Or, you might just think they would have a better quality of life surrounded by new friends and a fun-filled monthly calendar of events.

But even if you are confident that the transition to a senior living community is the right thing to do, how do you explain it in a way that helps them see why it’s a good option? Here are some tips on what you can do before sitting down for the conversation with your parents.

Make sure all siblings are on the same page.
If multiple siblings are involved, it’s a good idea to at least try to get everyone on the same page before having the official conversation with your parent. Because the subject is a sensitive one, you want the discussion to go smoothly, and during the conversation is not the best time to hash out details.

Remember this is a difficult subject.
Growing older is a sensitive subject for most people, so you need to prepare to be extra sensitive to your parent’s feelings. Moving to a community also means saying goodbye to their home—and leaving those memories behind can be hard. Remember that being kind, sensitive and understanding goes a long way in a hard conversation.

Prepare a list of your concerns.
Whether your parent asks you first or you want to volunteer the information at the beginning, be ready to share why you think it’s time for your mom or dad to consider senior living. Be careful not to frame this in a way that seems like you’re talking down to them. You want to be respectful and sensitive while still communicating that you’re concerned for their safety and wellbeing.

Do your homework.
Do your homework and be ready to share the advantages of living in a community. They won’t have as many household chores and responsibilities. They’ll have access to supportive and helpful staff. They won’t have to cook their own meals. And perhaps most importantly, they will have opportunities to make new friends and enjoy all kinds of activities.

Put your thoughts down on paper.
Emotions can take over when the subject of senior living comes up, and articulating the right words can be challenging. So consider writing a letter to your family member. You don’t have to give it to the person, but setting aside time to consider what words to use can help ensure you don’t say the wrong ones.

Making the Decision to Move to Brookdale

Thanks for Giving Back Mom

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Tips For Talking To Your Children About Senior Living

Perhaps you're ready to start a new chapter with a move to senior living, but how do you tell your children? Sometimes adult kids are on board with their parent’s decision. But for some, the idea of mom or dad moving into a senior living community comes as a shock. If you know you want to transition to senior living but you aren’t sure how to tell your children, here are a few tips:

Be sensitive to your children.
Because your children probably can’t read your mind, they may not know that senior living is something you’ve been considering for a while now. And it’s impossible to know they’re going to react positively. Some kids are quick to support mom or dad’s wishes, while others may try to convince their parents that it’s too soon to consider senior living. No matter how they react, give them space to process, especially if it’s the first time you’ve talked about it.

Be ready to share your concerns.
You probably have a list of reasons why you think moving to a senior living community is the right decision. Maybe you have increased healthcare needs, or you’re tired of the household chores and maintaining a house. Or you might just want peace of mind knowing a trained team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Make sure you share your concerns over the course of the conversation so your children see where you’re coming from.

Have a support system in place.
Even if you do everything you can to handle the conversation as smoothly as possible, it’s important to keep in mind that it may take some time for your children to come to terms with your decision. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a support system of friends and other family members who understand your choice and can encourage you to move forward.

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Further Reading
Helping the Conversation Go Smoothly

We have a few tips on how you can navigate the conversation about senior living.

Next Steps After the Conversation

What happens after you’ve talked to someone you love about senior living?