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Starting The Conversation About Senior Living

Make A Positive Plan for the future.

Talking to an aging parent or family member about getting older and making a plan for the future can be uncomfortable, perhaps because it’s a shift in the roles of parent and child. However, it’s a conversation your family should have sooner rather than later.

View of living room of one of our apartments

How To Take The Next Step

Having a plan ensures both you and your parents feel confident with the decision when it’s time to move, particularly if their health circumstances change. Use these helpful tips to approach the topic and begin an open dialogue.

  1. Start early. Ask your loved ones what they envision for the future and with varying factors. If you bring it up before you have any major concerns, they will have time to explore their options and put together a collaborative plan that everyone’s aware of. Guide your conversations with questions that allow them to express their thoughts and apprehensions.
  2. Set up a time to talk so they can be prepared with their own ideas. Make a list of anything you want to address – for example, you may be worried about their medication management or physical safety at home. Be sure to let other family members know about your discussion so so they don’t feel left out.
  3. Learn about different options in senior living. Your loved ones may have preconceived ideas about “nursing homes” but options for senior living have changed and expanded to include everything from independent living and in-home care to assisted living and continuing care communities. As you research, be realistic about the amount of help your loved one actually needs.
  4. Sit down to talk in person, not by telephone if possible, and at a time when you are both well-rested and free of distractions. You may choose to go to a neutral site outside of their home or to involve an outside person close to the family, such as an attorney, doctor, clergy member or friend.
  5. Ask questions and listen closely to their responses before offering your opinion or advice. If the conversation gets overly emotional or intense, take a break and pick it up at another time. Use open-ended questions such as:

“Where would you want to live if you ever decided you would rather not live by yourself anymore?”

“What kinds of things could you use help with?”

“How has it been for you living at home alone?”

6. Talk again. And again. While it might be nice to have a firm plan in place after one conversation, this process will likely involve multiple discussions. As long as you aren’t facing an emergent health issue or safety risk, it’s best to take the time needed to develop a mutually agreeable plan.

By having this conversation, you can provide reassurance to your loved ones that you’re their partner in this next chapter in life – and have your own peace of mind for their future. Contact us if you have additional questions or would like more information about The Crossings at North River and how we can be a comfortable, convenient option for your loved one’s retirement needs.