Having the Conversation
Talking about senior living can be a sensitive subject whether you’re considering it for yourself, or you need to bring it up to a family member. It's okay—in fact, sometimes it can be downright healthy—to admit to ourselves that these kinds of life changes can be hard on everyone.
But here’s some good news: Many seniors find that a weight is lifted off their shoulders after they decide to embrace the next chapter of their lives, and for many, this conversation can be the start of that feeling of relief.
A Tough Topic to Tackle
One of the first things worth considering before actually having the conversation about senior living with a loved one is that it’s hard to predict how they will react to this kind of sensitive subject. If you’re a senior and want to talk to your children about your decision, they may disagree that the time is right for you to move. Or if you’re suggesting to a parent that it might be time to make a move, it’s always possible that you might catch them off guard.
But no matter how the conversation goes, it’s helpful to remember that both you and your family member are on a journey. And even if parts of the journey get difficult, the most important part is that you cross the bridges together,striving for patience and grace, and determined to make it through together.
And more good news: A little planning goes a long way, and with the right preparation, and a few tools for how to have the actual conversation, you might just make it through the discussion a little bit easier.
How to Prepare for the Conversation
If you haven’t talked about senior living with a family member before, there are a few things (like doing plenty of research, and trying to make sure all of the family is on the same page), that you can do before it happens in order to hopefully help it go smoothly. Putting some effort in up front to get all of your ducks in a row will help make sure that however they react, you’re at least a little more prepared.
Helping the Conversation Go Smoothly
Once you’ve done your homework and are ready to approach the conversation, there area few things to think about that might give you the best possible opportunity for it to go well. We’ve put together a list of tips, from notes on timing to what to say. And remember, the senior living decision doesn’t have to happen overnight, so trying not to put too much pressure on yourself or your loved one will probably help.
Next Steps After the Conversation
If you’ve successfully prepared for and navigated the subject of senior living with someone you love, you may be wondering what happens next. Few people have the discussion with their family member just once. So how can you move the conversation along and make progress toward an actual decision? Read on to learn not only what you can expect to happen next, but what role you might play in the process.
Brodey Hanson, MBA