How to talk about senior living

Posted by in Expert Advice.

At Senior Lifestyle, we’re been helping seniors and their families navigate the senior care journey for over 30 years. We understand the uncertainty and questions as well as the obstacles that accompany many families on their journey and we strive to provide exceptional guidance and support. We also know that many families meet with resistance from their senior loved one when searching for quality senior care. Talking about senior living is an important first step in the journey.

Do you have concerns about a loved living at home alone? Are you worried that the stress of running a household is causing health problems for your loved one? If so, talking about senior living options may help allay your fears and allow your senior loved one to verbalize their concerns as well. Additionally, the subject will be easier to discuss later when the need arises if you’ve already started the conversation.

Some tips for a healthy discussion about senior care:

Start the conversation early

Don’t wait until a health crisis forces your hand; it’s much easier to make decisions about senior care when you and your loved one don’t feel pressured to make a quick decision. It’s much less stressful to talk about senior living in terms of “future planning” than in terms of deciding now. Remember that this is simply a first step, and you don’t have to have all the answers after your first conversation.

Be empathetic

Understand that talking about senior living may be difficult for your loved one, especially if they’ve been living independently and are only recently experiencing difficulties. They may feel that the situation will correct itself in time and want to save the conversation for later. Put yourself in their shoes when starting the conversation about senior care and tread lightly in your first attempts to broach the subject. The discussion should be framed as a partnership with you and your loved one about options and alternatives to the current situation.

Find the right time and place

Timing is important. Find a time when you can be uninterrupted, as well as a location that feels neutral and safe for the conversation. Talking about senior living is much more appropriate and comfortable in a quiet corner of the local coffee shop or at the kitchen table than in a crowded restaurant or in the middle of a family event.

Do your homework

Preparing a little in advance is always helpful. Write down your specific concerns so that you have “talking points” when you have a conversation with your loved one. They may actually share your concerns and have ideas of what they need and want, which is a vital consideration when discussing senior care. Presenting options during your conversation about senior care shows that you’ve given the subject some thought and want to help your loved one make a choice they are comfortable with.

While it can be difficult to discuss life changes with a senior loved one, at Senior Lifestyle we know that the conversation doesn’t have to be a source of strife. With some advance preparation, talking about senior living can be a positive step toward a better quality of life for your loved one. For more information about senior living options in your area or to schedule a tour of one of our senior communities, please visit our website at

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