When it’s time to talk to your parent about the dreaded “housing issue,” it pays to have a plan in place before you approach the subject. For instance, you might think that sitting down with a handful of colorful and happy looking brochures and speaking with nothing but optimism will ensure that things go well, but that’s not the case. You may end up getting a burst of angry emotions, tears and hurtful accusations that you’re trying to get rid of your parent.
Naturally, you need to discuss the options, but being prepared for the emotional hurdles that are likely to present themselves will help to ensure that your conversation is actually productive and hopefully peaceful.
Keep the following things in mind when you speak to your older parent and they will give you a better perspective of his or her point of view. They will also allow you to speak with a deeper understanding and feeling.
Older Adults are in Control in Their Own Homes
Home truly is where the heart is and what you’re asking your parent to let go of is his or her control. This is difficult for anyone, but especially at an age when failing senses are making them feel like they are already losing control of other important parts of life. After all, your senses are the very things that allow you to navigate in this world.
Consider Types of Housing From Their Point of View
When you’re visiting an independent living community and considering it for your parent, imagine you are the older adult on your way inside and you are the one who will be living here permanently. While it may appear perfectly lovely on the outside, if you don’t want to live there, why would they?
Always be Gentle, No Matter What
As your parent ages, preparing them for the possibility of living in an assisted community or nursing home could make the transition a lot more comfortable for everyone. Keep in mind, however, that just because the retirement home brochures make you see safe, medically supervised, fun activities and nutritious meals, your parent may see nothing more than the end of everything familiar. Always be gentle and never lose your temper when having the discussion about transitioning to an assisted living community. Keep this in mind at all times: it’s your loved one’s decision and not yours. Then constantly communicate that to him or her.