While having a discussion with your parents about their future might seem intimidating, there are simple ways to break the ice without overstepping. In this guide you’ll find strategies for starting the conversation and essential questions to ask about your parents’ long-term care plans.
How to Start the Conversation About Long-Term Care
Each family relationship is unique, so the channels of communication may differ depending on your situation. However, to have a productive conversation with your parents about long-term care, it helps to have some strategies to get you started.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Pick the right time. There may never be a perfect time, but some are better than others. It’s best to start your conversation in a private environment where things are comfortable and relaxed.
- Be an active listener. In the end this decision is about what’s right for your parents’ needs. Hear them out and put yourself in their shoes to understand their goals and rationale.
- Don’t pressure them. Nothing can sour a conversation like being talked down to or feeling lectured. Make sure you’re having a true dialogue.
- Practice patience. Most major decisions don’t happen overnight. They require careful thought and reflection. Try to go into the conversation knowing there won’t necessarily be a resolution, and it’s the first of many to come.
5 Questions to Ask Your Parents About Long-Term Care
A solid foundation of strategies to get things started is just one piece of the puzzle. You also have to ensure you’re asking the right questions. If you’re feeling stuck, here are five questions to ask.
1. Do You Have a Long-Term Care Plan?
The best place to start is by asking about their big picture plans. It’s always possible they’ve been thinking about the future, but haven’t vocalized it or are still working through the logistics. This also puts the focus on them and feels less like you’ve come with an agenda.
2. Would You Consider Moving to a Community Setting?
This question can help take the abstract idea of long-term care and make it more concrete. Their openness to the possibility should give you a good baseline of how the conversation can progress. It’s also a good opportunity to come informed about the different community types such as independent living vs. assisted living. To further help them conceptualize community living, consider these scenarios:
- Would you consider moving when you have trouble driving?
- Would you consider moving when you need health services?
- Would you consider moving when you start to feel lonely?
It’s also worth noting that making the move to an independent living community sooner than later provides the best financial value, offers the chance to establish relationships and provides security as needs change over time.
3. When Would You Consider Selling Your Home?
One of the most enticing elements of community living is that it helps eliminate tedious household tasks like home maintenance. Talk through the upkeep required for home maintenance and get an idea of where your parents’ pain points are and if they’d consider selling their home.
4. Are You Planning to Downsize?
As children grow older and establish homes of their own, it’s common for older adults to transition into a more manageable space that suits their needs. If downsizing is already in your parents’ plans, this can be the perfect time to make the move to community living.
In addition to a wide range of private residence floor plans, senior independent living communities offer services and amenities that can’t be found at home, ranging from restaurant-style dining venues to fitness centers and swimming pools.
5. How Can I Help?
However the conversation goes, the ultimate goal is to help your parents make the right decision for their needs and lifestyle. Focus on letting them know you’re on their side and here to help. Whether that’s scheduling tours to visit communities in person, breaking down the costs or just keeping an open mind, you’re a resource they can turn to and depend on.
Explore Independent Living Options at Friendship Village of Bloomington
No matter where your parents or loved ones are in the decision-making process, our dedicated team at Friendship Village of Bloomington is here to assist you in any way possible. We’re committed to helping every resident pursue their passions, reach their goals and get the most out of each day.
If you’d like to learn more about our Minneapolis-area senior living community and how we can meet the needs of your family, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.