Have you seen your parent’s or loved one’s quality of life, sense of purpose, or health suffering? Yet they want to maintain independence? If you’re wondering how to talk with them about senior living options like assisted living, memory care, or skilled nursing, you’re not alone.
As an Eden Alternative community, Sage Living knows loneliness, boredom, and hopelessness lead to quality of life and health declines, and we see older adults discover new meaning and passion with the companionship, connection, purpose, spontaneity and the opportunity contribute offered in community. Often, fear of change hold them back from moving.
Here is a proven approach to talk with loved ones experiencing memory loss, physical limitations, isolation, or aging issues about a move to retirement living.
- Schedule a time without distractions, in a place where your loved one is comfortable.
- While the urgent need for this conversation may become clear during a family or health crisis, if possible choose a time to talk that’s not a high-stress situation.
- Loved ones have made their own decisions their whole lives, and continue to desire control as they consider a move to a senior community. Respect and honor your loved one’s role and put them in the driver’s seat as much as possible. Discuss what they see as quality of life. What’s missing?
- Ask them how you can partner with them to make their desires for connection, purpose, contribution, and companionship a reality.
- Use I and We statements. Speak about your feelings, your safety concerns, and the impact of supporting your loved one on you and your family. For example, “I am concerned about your wellness because I see you not getting proper meals or time with people you enjoy.” or “We see you have become isolated in this big house, especially since you stopped driving. We worry about you being alone so much and want you to re-find your sense of purpose.”
- Educate and explore. Speak with your loved one about communities they’ve seen, visit our website together, tour, meet team members on a home visit, and even have a meal. Speak to other residents in the community. Your loved one may be surprised with what they have in common.
- If other family members are involved, don’t gang up. Several shorter one-on-one conversations where your loved one can make their wishes known and have time to think about a senior living move often lead to a consensus leading up to a larger “family meeting”.
- Talk frequently. The decision to move to a community, unless during crisis mode, can take weeks or months. We can provide resources to help you revisit the conversation, just ask our Sage Living team!