Speaking To Your Parents About Senior Living

Tracy Martin Corporate Director of Sales and Marketing at Pomeroy Living

We find that many adult children avoid having a conversation with their parents when the see a change in behavior and mood in their loved one. This article points out how to approach a conversation with your parents which is great. But I want to point out status quo is not acceptable. It is our responsibility to initiate that conversation and putting it off might be at risk of your loved one going into crisis like a fall, or health change that puts them in the hospital. Once this happens then their independence is taken away for sure. Having the conversation early means they have choices, allow them that opportunity, they deserve it.

Senior living is a topic that is brushed under the rug too often. Seniors fear that moving into senior housing could mean a loss of independence, and family members avoid having this conversation for fear of hurting their feelings.

However, if all of their options are conveyed to them openly, and they are involved in making decisions about their future, they are much more likely to accept this change with positivity. If you have senior parents and aren’t sure about how to broach the topic of moving into senior housing to them, we’ve got a few tips that could help.

Tips On How to Speak To Your Parent About Senior Living

You must take a logical yet empathetic approach when it comes to speaking about moving into senior housing with your aging parents. Rushed and forced conversations could create frustration, negativity, and resistance.

Here are a few tips you can use to ensure the conversation goes smoothly and is fruitful.

Explain why you’ve been considering senior living

There are undeniable concerns that children have when it comes to senior parents. These are the primary reasons for considering moving into senior housing.

Whether it is an elder’s declining health, or their inability to live alone, there are numerous valid reasons to consider moving into senior housing. Convey these to your parents so that they can understand where you’re coming from.

Listen to their concerns

It is important to listen to your parent’s concerns, especially if they are pertaining to anxieties related to moving into senior housing. This is a new chapter in their life, and they are bound to have numerous questions about it.

Do your research

Research all of your options thoroughly before bringing them to the table. Select the most appropriate senior living facilities keeping in mind your parents’ preferences, budget, and physical and mental states.

Empathize but don’t sympathize

Your senior parents do not want you to feel sorry for them. Of course, you must be kind, compassionate, and understanding, but feeling sorry for the situation they’re in is not helpful for them.

Involve them as much as possible

Lay down all of their options on the table and let them decide what is best for them. Of course, you can reason and guide them towards what you feel may be the best option for their move into senior housing, but their say in the matter should be of utmost importance.

Give them space

Understand that this may not be an easy decision for them and that it may take them some time before they fully accept this transition. Give your parents time and space to process information freely and think over their options.


Senior living could be a great decision for your aging parents. They enjoy a better quality of life in senior living facilities and are more supervised, hence prone to fewer accidents and medical emergencies. However, it is by no means an easy conversation to have with parents. If done correctly, though, it can help them look forward to a new chapter in their life.

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Manda Ayoub

Manda is a nurse and a licensed nursing home Administrator in the state of Michigan. She has worked through all aspects of the post-acute healthcare industry, holding various positions including Infection Control Nurse, In-service Director, Quality Assurance Director, Risk Manager and a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator.