Try to have the conversation in person. People’s non-verbal cues, such as body language, can help you see what the person is thinking. People may say one thing, but their body language shows something else.
Start the conversation small. Ask the person what they think about moving to a senior housing facility. It does not have to be an extensive discussion but rather a short conversation to plant the thought. Do some research on what their options are. Knowing what is out there can help the conversation evolve.
Have general safety conversations with the person. Point out any examples of why you think the person should move. Address issues in their home that may remedy some concerns, such as installing handrails around the bathtub. Should a caregiver be brought in to help? Discuss if some of these remedies are financially feasible and address long-term problems.
Discuss the person’s overall living situation. Seniors are great at hiding their problems. Look around the house and ask them if they need help with housekeeping, laundry, running errands, or keeping up with their daily chores.
Ask if they feel lonely. Companionship might be the most significant selling points for senior communities since they could increase social stimulation. There is a community dining area. There are people all around.
What are the most important things to do while continuing the conversation?
Empathy is important. These are difficult conversations. Relocating to a senior community will significantly change a person’s life. It is also coming to terms with the fact that the person is elderly and one step closer to death. Therefore, consider this and be empathetic when talking to the person.
In addition, listen. Nothing is more frustrating than the feeling of not being heard. Therefore, ensure you listen carefully to the person’s answers. Ask open-ended questions that allow them to bring up any issues they may see.
Finally, please keep them in the loop. It is their life. Let the aging loved one visit their options. They need to be a part of the decision. Highlight the features of the place. Show them how the potential community could meet their social, mental, and physical needs. Feature how the community would improve their quality of life and health.