Everyone wants their parents to live healthy and long lives and sometimes the best decision may be to find them a retirement home that best suits their lifestyle and preferences.
Bringing up the retirement home conversation can be awkward and emotional for both parties. And if your loved one resides in a house that they hoped would be their ‘forever home,’ you might have a hard time even bringing up the topic, let alone being convincing. But opening the lines of communication is essential for the well-being of everyone involved.
While suggesting and convincing ageing parents can be difficult, it is not impossible. Scroll down to learn more about the ways that you can approach the topic with your parents.
Preparing for the talk
You can’t just hit your parents with the news out of nowhere. Depending on your family dynamic, you need to find ways to ease your parents into such a conversation.
Focus on explaining the various ways that retirement living can ease them of the hassles of their daily tasks and allow them to focus on what makes them happiest. For example, they will no longer have to worry about home and property maintenance, or keeping up with bills.
With a better understanding of their current situations, it will be easier for you to explain the necessity of a retirement home.
Communication is the key
It’s essential to hold regular discussions with your parents about what the future might have in store for them. It’s not just about the frequency with which you bring up the topic; it’s also about how you deliver your concerns.
But if you show that you are genuinely concerned about their well-being and are trying to advocate for their health, it makes all the difference, and you may be able to get them to open up more.
Get the entire family involved
Moving to a retirement home is a milestone decision. That is why it is essential to get your family involved, discuss things with your siblings and other close relatives about the decision and agreement.
The more people there are, the easier it will be to convince your parents. Moreover, having the entire family involved will show your parents that they are loved and cared for by everyone. It will also give your parents the confidence that the decision is probably for the best since all their loved ones agree.
Don’t drop bombs
As already mentioned, suddenly suggesting the idea of a retirement home is the worst way to approach the topic. You need to give your parents the time and presence of mind to adjust to the idea first.
Irrespective of your parents’ age, if you discuss the topic early on, they will likely be much more ready when the time finally comes.
Big decisions with little time to prepare can have some damaging implications. There are scenarios where parents are sent over to retirement homes during crises or on short notices. This can lead to distress and disorganization.
How to manage resistant parents
It can be challenging to convince a refusing parent to move. While there are no wonder strategies or magic tricks that can persuade your parent so easily, you can try the following approaches:
Ask them to indulge you
You can try asking your parents to at least visit a retirement home, following which the decision will be theirs to make.
People tend to resist changes under considerable stress, irrespective of how sound and accurate the other party’s arguments may be. So, it is better to let them see the options for themselves and then make their own decisions with some external influence from time to time.
In case of constant refusal
If your parent(s) keeps refusing to go to a nursing or retirement home, it is better to back off for the time being. However, during this time, explore other options to raise the issue again.
Meanwhile, you can also ask health care providers and other family members for their help in leading the discussion. Getting them to speak to someone already living in the retirement home can also help.
If your parents show even the slightest signs of warming up to the idea of moving to a retirement home, it is important to have the conversation to discuss retirement living with them.
This can be a lengthy process that requires patience and time, but it is a big decision that should not be taken lightly.