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Family & Caregiving | March 14, 2024

Talking To Your Parents About Retirement Living

Visiting home can be a nostalgic and emotional experience. As you walk through the front door, you’re transported back to a different time. As you wander through the kitchen, maybe you remember the smell of your favourite fresh baked cookies, or the time you helped your parents prepare a feast for the holidays. Every corner of a room, each creak of a staircase, and the sound of familiar voices hold memories that shaped your childhood.

Coming home can hold some difficult emotions for us as well. For many adult children, visiting home leads to seeing some noticeable differences in their parents. Maybe the house isn’t as tidy as it used to be, or there is a pile of unopened mail on the table. Maybe your parents are struggling to get up the stairs they use to navigate with ease or are unable to use the stove. This shift will lead many adult children to the realization that their parents are struggling to live independently. At this point, it’s time to have the conversation about moving to retirement living.

Starting The Conversation

While this conversation may cause you a lot of anxiety and uncertainty, it is important to realize that your parents might be feeling this way, too. The same memories about your childhood home that you hold dear are also important to your parents. They could be feeling vulnerable and scared thinking about having to leave a place that holds such sentimental value.

  • Approach this conversation with empathy. Acknowledge that it will likely bring up difficult emotions.
  • Acknowledge that there may be many reasons that your parent doesn’t want to move.
  • Ensure your parents that you want them to be actively involved in the search.
  • Bring up the positive reasons for moving to retirement living, like opportunities to make new friends, reduced stress around cooking and cleaning, and the option to receive care services that will prioritize their health, and safety.
  • Be patient: you should be ready to have the conversation more than once.
  • Start this conversation earlier than later. Having an established plan in place ensures that you and your loved ones do not have to make the move in reaction to an accident, injury, or illness in the future.
Do The Research

Once your parents have come to the decision to move to retirement living, answer the following questions to create a checklist to ask prospective communities as you search:

  • Determine what type of care your parents require to ensure you find them the right suite:
    • Do your parents simply wish to downsize, with amenities and services close by? Consider independent living.
    • Do your parents want a little bit of help with housekeeping, but don’t require additional care services? Consider inclusive living, a NEW lifestyle option at Trico LivingWell.
    • Do your parents require care services? Consider assisted living.
    • Do your parents need support with dementia or other cognitive conditions? Consider memory care.
  • Ask your parents what makes a place feel like home:
    • What do they need in a suite to make them comfortable?
    • Will they require meals?
    • What are their dietary concerns?
    • Would they like a full kitchen, or would a kitchenette be enough?
    • What kind of activities do they like?

There may be points in this journey where you and your parents disagree. If you face this challenge, it never hurts to bring in another perspective from a different family member or caregiver should your parents need another opinion.

Touring A Community

Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to tour some communities. For a productive tour, come with a sense of:

  • What your timeframe is.
  • What your budget looks like.
  • The social activities your parents enjoy.
  • The type of care required.
  • The downsizing process – many retirement communities will provide referrals for moving services. At Trico LivingWell, we have several programs that will help make your moving process stress-free.

Don’t be afraid to express your concerns around your parents move. A good community will address these concerns and more!

Join us at Trico LivingWell Today

While having the conversation about moving to retirement living can be hard, remember that this move is meant to support your parents in maintaining their independence for longer, not taking it away. At Trico LivingWell, we believe in supporting our resident’s independence through a strong wellness culture that prioritizes health, wellness, and quality of life. For us, independence is all about choice – in activities, dining, and healthcare services, all in a safe and healthy environment.

We’d love for you to join us for a tour and help you find the best home for your loved one. To book a tour, visit https://tricolivingwell.com/meetings/