mother and daughter drinking coffee on the couch

Helping the Conversation Go Smoothly

Open communication is an important part of any relationship, and it’s especially crucial when it comes to discussing senior living. If you’re a child who's planning to talk to an aging parent, the last thing you want to do is make them feel like they are being forced into a decision against their will. And if you’re a senior who needs to tell your children about your decision to move to a community, you don’t want them to feel like their opinions don’t count either.

That’s why sitting down and having a thoughtful conversation with your family is a valuable part of the senior living journey. You want to give each person an opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings, while still having the chance to explain the benefits of life in a community. Here are a few thoughts on how to make that successful.

Having the Conversation

Having the actual conversation may be a little difficult. Even if your family has strong relationships, the subject matter can lead to feelings of fear and apprehension. Sometimes it even opens the door for difficult and emotionally charged questions. But with patience and thoughtful communication, you can work together to find a positive solution for everyone.

Here are a few tips on what to do during the conversation to help it go smoothly: 

Timing is everything.
If you’ve ever had to talk about a sensitive subject, you know that timing is everything. You don’t want to dive into a deep conversation while someone is distracted. With that in mind, make sure you plan to bring up the topic of senior living when everyone is fully present and able to focus on each other. It’s also wise to make sure everyone is in a good mood and has plenty of time to engage in the conversation.

Make a point to listen.
One of the best things you can do during this conversation, whether you are the child or parent, is to actively listen. Once you’ve finished sharing your thoughts, give the other person space to respond or ask questions. And as they talk, avoid the temptation to interrupt. Even if they disagree or see things differently, listening shows respect, and that’s a crucial ingredient for a successful outcome.

Further Reading

There are a few ways to prepare before talking to your family about senior living.

What happens after you’ve talked to your loved one about senior living?