Having the Tough Conversation with Your Parents about Senior Living

November 14th, 2019 | For Family Members


The relationships you develop with your parents are often some of the deepest and most meaningful in your life. Which makes having a conversation about moving into senior living communities tough for all involved. It might be difficult for you to broach the subject with your parents, but keep in mind that it’s just as hard for them to hear it.

No matter how prepared you or they might be, this is never an easy conversation to have. From your parents’ perspective, moving into a senior living community might seem like a significant reduction in independence and freedom. After all, having lived alone for forty or fifty years gets a person used to a certain type of lifestyle. It’s for that reason that you have to give them the best advice possible. Don’t simply make the decision for them, bring them into the discussion and talk frankly about the situation and the options available. We’ve learned a thing or two during our time at Legend Senior Living, and know a few tips for making this conversation a bit easier:

Speak honestly and compassionately

Help your parents by being sensitive to their needs, wants, and fears, and include them in the conversation about their lives. Give your honest assessment, even if you know it may be difficult for them to hear.

Make collaborative choices

People are more willing to make choices when they take part in the decision. Structure your conversation in a way that shows you aren’t trying to run their lives; rather that you’re focused on their health, safety, and happiness, and welcome and respect their input in this decision.

Set up senior living community tours

Encourage them to schedule tours of communities so they can meet people and see the environments firsthand. As they talk to residents, they can weigh their decisions based on what’s important to them. 

Know the signs to help assess the situation

It can be hard to admit when your parents can’t handle living on their own. It’s important that you know the signs that determine it’s time to consider senior living. Here is a list of what to look for:

  • Weight loss due to malnutrition or inability to feed oneself
  • Frailty of strength or stature
  • Weight gain, potentially due to illness or inactivity
  • Changes in behavior, appearance, or bathing habits
  • Loss of friendships, activities, or interests
  • Unopened bills, personal mail, or past-due notices
  • When daily living activities and independent living activities wane
  • Chronic, persistent health conditions or conditions that require daily monitoring
  • Slower recovery for minor injuries or illnesses
  • Recent accidents or incidents

Senior living means not worrying about when they’ll get a nutritious meal, not having to worry about them forgetting to turn off the stove, a slip or a fall, or forgetting to take their medications. Be open and honest regarding your concerns about them living on their own. They’ll appreciate how much you value their safety, happiness, health, and independence. Senior living also ensures that your parents will have the assistance in the case of an emergency or accident. It’s not only a residential situation, it’s peace of mind for both you and your parents that they will always be looked after.

Even though the conversation might be difficult to have, it’s important that you have it. But make sure you approach it with kindness, compassion and understanding.