Having a conversation about moving your loved one to a retirement community can be daunting. But it’s not just about you: it’s about them. You want them to be happy and healthy, but they also deserve to make their own decisions. To help you start the conversation, we’ve put together some tips that will help with the process while keeping both parties’ feelings in mind.
Plan Ahead For The Conversation
The best advice we can give you is to plan. Pick a quiet time and place, such as your living room or backyard. Make sure you have plenty of time to talk—you don’t want to interrupt the conversation because of other obligations, but neither do you want to rush through it. If possible, have someone else present who can help keep things moving and ensure that both parties get their say.
Even if all these factors are ideal (and they won’t always be), one thing still remains: You need to ask questions and listen carefully for the answers! If your loved one seems resistant about leaving their home for good, ask what kind of support would make them feel more comfortable relocating. Or if they are hesitant about leaving behind familiar surroundings, encourage them by asking what will make this new location feel like home.
Consider Their Feelings
If your loved one is struggling with moving to a retirement community, it’s essential to consider what that means for them. Let them know that you understand and acknowledge their feelings; it will help them feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and concerns with you. Also important is listening closely to what they’re trying to communicate via their words or body language. If they seem frustrated or upset while talking about this subject, ask them what they’re feeling in an open-ended way: “I’m sorry this upsets you so much,” or, “What are some ways I can help?” This may open up the conversation so that both of you can talk through all your options together instead of just focusing on how your loved one should feel or react at any given moment.
Involve Them In The Moving Process
You want your loved ones to be involved in the moving process. It’s a big decision, and they’ll be happy to help you through it! They can help with the packing and sorting, too—and even choosing a new home. They can advise what features may or may not work for you (for example, if you have arthritis). If they are moving into an assisted living facility or memory care community, chances are good that the staff will be able to give suggestions on how best to settle in. And don’t forget about their emotional ties to certain places! They may find some parts of this process difficult—like leaving behind close friends or family members—so let them know that you understand how those feelings might affect them (and how much those relationships mean to you). If possible, try visiting some retirement communities before making any final decisions so you can get an idea of what life would look like together.
As a caregiver, you deserve to have the best possible experience. You’re not just helping your loved one adjust to life at their new home—you’re also helping them settle into a community and make friends. That said, caregiving is a team effort between you and your loved one. If you don’t get along very well in person, it may be difficult for either of you to adjust to life there. If you’re still unsure what to say, let us know! We’d love to help.