Summer Hammerle: Hello, I am Summer Hammerle from Emeritus Senior Living. Today, I will talk to you about the first important steps in discussing the transition to senior living with your elderly parent. Making the decision to move your parents out of his or her home can be a very emotional and difficult decision. It's not always easy to tell when your parents needs more help and the prospect might be painful to accept.
Here are some general strategies for approaching your parent about a move. First, plan ahead, gather information and get family consent. Start the process by researching all the nearby senior living options. Your parents don't need to be involved in a gathering of information. This might be too much for them to handle. Senior living communities come in all shapes and sizes. So look for arrangements that will best match your parents care needs, hobbies lifestyle and financial situation. Excellent quality, reputation in resident and family satisfaction should be your top considerations. Be sure to ask friends, community members and local business bureaus for recommendations. Next, start the discussion gradually, there's no way around it. This is a difficult conversation. First plant the seed, tell your parent that you are worried about their well-being and you know of some living options that can make life easier, safer and more fun for them. Don't approach your parent as if you have already made the decision. Unless there is a crisis in the family, the decision to move should be a process, not an immediate or a quick reaction. Go slowly with any suggestions about moving. Don't have the discussion all in one sitting. Beyond hearing your concerns, your parent may need proof that living at home isn't in their best interest. If a parent experiences a fall, use that as a discussion launching point. Another opportunity may present itself on a day when your parent is complaining of loneliness. Then gently try again. Remember your loved one is at a stage in their life when retaining control of their independence is paramount to them. Work with them to have this be their decision rather than a decision that's already been made for them. When you keep their need for control in mind you will be able to gently move them along the process so that they make a choice that is in their best interest.