Are your parents or other members of the family nearing retirement age? If so, you’re most likely worrying about how you can discuss their future living options with them, especially when they’re now dealing with medical conditions or mobility issues. It’s never an easy conversation since it could elicit an unfavorable reaction or response from your senior loved ones.
But then the fear of not knowing how they’ll react shouldn’t get in the way of going about it the right way. Discussing retirement living options with your aging family members will ensure they can live a safer, healthier, and happier life. If you recognize the signs that it’s time to have ‘the talk,’ here are some tips you can follow:
Start By Researching Living Options They Can Choose From
The first thing you want to do is be prepared before discussing it with your loved ones. You can’t just let the topic pop out of nowhere—it’s a sensitive conversation that needs proper execution. So, the first thing you need to do is to research different retirement living options they can choose from.
When considering living options, try to set your emotions aside. This will help keep you from feeling stressed and worried. Consider their current and prospective long-term care needs and those of home care. Can your parents move around and walk on their own? Do they require assistance when taking a bath or eating?
Suppose they’re able to do things independently. In that case, you can present to them the possibility of living in a senior community, such as the one linked here. What’s great about senior communities is that they offer living spaces that are fully equipped with essential amenities, including spacious bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and living areas. On the flip side, if you’re concerned about their medical condition, you can look into nursing homes or continuing-care retirement communities (CCRC.)
Have A Face-To-Face Conversation
As much as possible, it’s best to talk in person when discussing retirement living options with your senior loved ones. Being together during a serious conversation can help show your parents or grandparents that you’re taking the matter seriously and that you’re there to answer any questions they may have. You don’t want them to feel like it’s just another chit-chat you can relay over the phone or via instant messaging.
Additionally, pick a date and time when you and your loved ones are relaxed and well-rested. You might also want to consider the location if you don’t want interruptions or disturbances as you go through the discussion.
Don’t Hope Or Demand For An Answer Right Away
You may be ready to make a decision even before you discuss it with your family, but your senior loved ones may need more time to process things and think about their options. This is where initiating the conversation as early as possible comes into play. The more time you can give your family to decide, the more they’ll appreciate it. Rushing to arrive at a final decision won’t cut it—your senior loved ones need time to come to terms with what you’ve just discussed.
That said, it’s recommended to set another date and time when you can come together again to discuss things further. As much as you want to arrive at a decision sooner than later, you can’t easily wrap things up in one sitting. In reality, it’ll take several talks and brainstorming, and that’s okay. Try your best to understand that it’s a process you need to see through until the end.
Promise To Keep Your Loved Ones Involved In Every Decision
Everyone wants the freedom to choose their living arrangements and medical treatment options. This predisposition does not change with age. It’s essential that you let your family feel everyone is involved in the decision-making process, particularly the elderly members who’ll be directly impacted by the change.
How do you go about this, though? You can ask your senior loved ones to accompany you when you tour retirement living facilities or to visit friends and family who have already moved in. That way, they can see firsthand their options and what it’s like in the facility or community.
Promise them you won’t make any decision they don’t know about and that you’ll consider their thoughts and suggestions every step of the way. Doing so will make them feel they’re still in control of their future and that you genuinely care about their happiness and comfort.
Talking about retirement living options with your senior loved ones can be emotionally challenging. But if you do it right, you can have a meaningful and productive discussion with them.
Once you’ve given it a head start, the main part is over—it’s up to your family members to decide. As long as you’re honest and genuinely empathetic in your approach, your parents or grandparents will eventually embrace the chance to live in an environment where they’ll feel safer and more supported than ever.