Talking to your elderly parents about the option of assisted living can be a sensitive and challenging conversation. They may have been thinking about it themselves, knowing they are not coping living alone at home, or they may be in denial about this. Here at Rangeford Retirement Villages, we have spoken to many families about the decision to move to assisted living. So here are some steps and tips to help you approach this conversation with care and understanding:
- Choose the Right Time and Place: Pick a time when you can sit down with your parents without distractions or interruptions. Ensure that it is a comfortable and private setting where they feel at ease.
- Prepare Yourself: Take some time to educate yourself about assisted living options in your area. Understand the benefits and services they offer. You may want to read this article which dispels some of the myths about assisted living. This will help you answer any questions your parents may have.
- Be Empathetic and Compassionate: Approach the conversation with empathy and understanding. Be aware that this is a significant decision, and your parents may have mixed feelings about it and may have not even thought about this previously.
- Use "I" Statements: Start by expressing your concerns and feelings. Use "I" statements to convey your perspective. For example, say, "I'm worried about your safety at home" rather than "You can't live alone anymore."
- Listen Actively: Make sure that you encourage your parents to share their thoughts and feelings. Listen carefully and validate their emotions. Avoid interrupting or making judgments, this is after all, their life;
- Highlight the Benefits: Explain the advantages of assisted living. A retirement village is a community for people generally over 60, centred around a hub of social activity. They offer older people the opportunity to live independently in a property they own, as part of a wider community. They are exciting, innovative and contemporary villages where residents can continue to live life to the full. Luxury retirement villages have a wide range of leisure activities, services, support and care and they promote well-being whilst helping the residents maintain an active and independent lifestyle.
- Involve Them in the Decision-Making: Make them feel like they have a say in the decision and ask for their input on what they'd like in an assisted living facility and where they might like to be located.
- Respect Their Autonomy: If your parents are mentally competent, respect their right to make decisions about their living situation, even if you disagree. All you can do is offer advice to try and help them to make the right decision for themselves.
- Include Siblings or Family Members: If you have siblings or other family members involved, involve them in the conversation to provide support and multiple perspectives.
- Address Concerns and Questions: Be prepared to answer questions and address concerns honestly. If you don't know the answer to something, commit to finding out and getting back to them. We are here to help and would love to have a chat about what we can offer in our assisted living retirement villages.
- Seek Professional Advice: Sometimes, it's helpful to involve a GP, social worker, or counsellor who specializes in aging issues. They can provide expert guidance and facilitate the discussion.
- Revisit the Conversation: It's unlikely that your parents will make a decision immediately. Give them time to think it over and revisit the conversation as needed.
- Support Their Transition: Once a decision is made, offer your assistance in the transition process. Help them pack, arrange the move, and settle into their new living situation.
Remember that this conversation may take time, and your parents may need time to adjust to the idea. Be patient and continue to provide emotional support throughout the process. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure their safety and well-being while respecting their wishes and autonomy.
We know that considering a move to a retirement village is a very personal one and a choice that has to feel right for you. Our village sales advisors are always available at the end of the phone to discuss and talk through any questions you may have.
Call 0800 1357420 or Contact Us