Most people are uncomfortable with the idea of change. For older adults, change often means the loss of something in their lives. This is why discussions about moving into senior housing are often met with refusal or even arguments. The thought of leaving their old home with happy memories behind, the expenses involved and the stigma surrounding senior housing may also contribute to the reasons for their resistance.
If your parent is opposed to the idea of moving into senior housing in Cape Coral, FL, you need to be more patient and understanding. Your parent’s feelings are valid and your concerns are also justifiable. There are ways to communicate your good intentions and ultimately convince your loved one. Learn about five strategies you can use when broaching this topic with your parent.
Respect Your Parent’s Decisions
No one likes being told what to do, especially when it involves one’s personal life. Your parents will want to have authority over the decisions they make. Hence, instead of telling them that they should move to senior living, you should begin by first exploring senior housing options with them. Talk about what retirees can look forward to in senior living. If they love animals, you can tell them about the benefits of moving to a pet-friendly community. At the same time, be sure to mention the resort-style amenities that they can enjoy in some retirement communities. After your discussion, allow your parents time to decide if senior living is for them.
Being impatient and saying the same thing over and over again will likely put your parents off. You don’t want to come across as pushy or controlling because that strategy will be counterproductive. Try something else. Instead of focusing on your frustration and fear, express your love and concern for your parents. Share with them the benefits of living in senior housing and provide them with examples like how they will get to do fun activities, socialize with like-minded people and gain more freedom to do what they love.
Be Open about Your Feelings
Most parents don’t like to be a burden or feel like they are in the way of their kids’ happiness. So, it’s important to be honest about your feelings right from the start. Express your anxieties and struggles in a calm and gentle manner. Say things along the lines of, “I want to you be comfortable and happy, but it has been exhausting for me to help you with daily household tasks and juggle my other responsibilities. I’m looking for a way where you will be well-taken care of so I won’t worry when I’m not by your side.”
Give Your Parent Time to Think
Have you tried the gentle approach to no avail? Perhaps it’s time to stop bringing up the subject for a few weeks to give your parents some time to assess their situation. They might soon notice the problems that you have been concerned about. The key is to be patient with your loved one. Uprooting themselves from a home they love and moving to a new environment is not an easy decision after all.
Ask for Help from Someone You Trust
Another way of broaching the topic is to change the messenger. You may need to enlist help from people whom your parents trust. They might be people whom your parents turn to for advice, encouragement or to get new perspectives. Are there any close friends, a church pastor, a trusted physician or family members that you can approach? Perhaps your parents’ grandkids might also be able to talk to them without evoking any negative emotions. However, do make sure to keep the narrative consistent because you don’t want your loved one to feel that everyone is teaming up against him or her.