As your parents enter their senior years, they may be faced with a new set of challenges when it comes to their physical, mental, and emotional health. In many cases, moving to the right retirement home for seniors can present amazing benefits for all these aspects of their health. While in other cases, moving to a retirement home could be an immediate need. So how do you open up a conversation about this sensitive topic? No doubt you have your elderly parents’ best interests at heart, but how do you effectively communicate this?

Well, in this article, we will cover some of the most important tips on how to talk to your parents about moving them to a retirement home for seniors. Let’s get started!

Seniors walking on a walking path in a retirement home

1. Start with an Assessment of Needs 

First of all,  you need to make an assessment of how your elderly parent/s are doing in their present situation. You can start with these questions to help uncover possible needs:

  • Is the current home environment safe for your parent/s?
  • If your parents are already living alone, is the current home too costly and difficult to maintain? 
  • Does the home environment give your parent/s opportunities to engage in fulfilling activities like exercising, socializing, and maintaining hobbies?
  • Do any of your parents need some or total assistance with day-to-day tasks like personal care, meal preparation, medication, and so on?
  • Do your parents have any conditions (current or progressing) that need or would need the support of caregivers or healthcare staff? 
  • Have any of your parents undergone any difficult life transitions where a change of scene could be beneficial?

2. Learn More About What Your Parents Want 

In some cases, it’s highly possible to find an option that meets both the needs and wants of your elderly parents. By considering what your parents would want or enjoy, you can be better equipped to look for a living option that is appealing to them. You can start by answering these:

  • What hobbies/sports/activities do your elderly parents like to do?
  • Would your parents prefer an apartment complex style of living or more of community living?
  • Would your parents like a community with walkways, gardens, and parks?
  • Are your parents interested in socializing with people their age in an active, engaging community? 

Swimming pool inside a retirement community

3. Educate Yourself About Options 

Now that we’ve laid the foundation with the first two steps, it’s time to look for viable options. Here are a few things to keep in mind when searching for options:

There are Essentially 3 Types of Retirement Homes 

The three main types of senior housing in Canada include:

  • Independent Retirement Living
  • Assisted Living
  • Residential Care Homes

Each of these corresponds to a different level of care needed by your elderly parents. For more information on these types of housing options, visit our page here.

Homes Come in Many Shapes 

Particularly under the categories of independent retirement living and assisted living, retirement homes can take many different forms – like apartment/condo complexes, townhouses, or even sprawling communities. 

Amenities Can Make a World of Difference 

Some retirement homes can boast resort-level amenities that could instantly win your parents over and help them feel excited about the relocation. Gardens, parks, walking paths, swimming pools, fitness centers, tennis courts, and golf courses are just a few examples. 

Proximity Matters 

For most elderly people, being close to friends and loved ones it is really important. You’d want to find an option that will make them feel safe in knowing that loved ones are nearby – and would easily visit now and then.

4. Speak in Person 

Here are some important tips about how to direct the conversation proper. Firstly, as this is a very important matter, you’d want to speak in person. Moreover, you’d want the conversation to take place somewhere serene, pleasant, and free of distractions. 

5. Have a Compassionate Start 

It can be difficult to get the conversation started, but here are some conversation-starters that you can use. These are mainly questions to find out more about their needs, from their own perspective:

  • What’s it like living at home alone? Does it still make you feel safe?
  • Do you ever feel lonely sometimes living alone? Would you be interested in socializing with people your age?
  • How are you doing with daily chores and tasks? 
  • How is your health?
  • How are your finances?

6. Be Calm & Show Empathy

It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous about a conversation like this. But if you recenter on the purpose of what you’re doing, it can help you to remain calm – even in the face of initial objection. By keeping calm, you’ll be able to respond with more empathy and clarity. 

7. Don’t Rush The Conversation

Keep in mind that you don’t need to wrap things up in one conversation. If your parents need time to think about things, be open to that and simply agree to speak again another time. 

Need Help in Putting Together a Plan?

We understand that you want nothing but the best for your elderly loved ones. If you need help or are still unsure of what direction to take, we can help! 

As one of the leading providers of full-service senior living transitions, we at Your Next Steps. can help you put together a plan for your parents’ retirement and help you every step of the way. Contact us today and let’s get started!