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How to talk about retirement living with a loved one

The thought of having a conversation with an older loved one about retirement living can be intimidating and emotional, but it’s an important one to have. We encourage you to discuss it while your loved ones are in good health and time is on your side, rather than after a crisis. This allows you to learn about all of your options and have the best chance to receive your first accommodation choice. 

The Signs of Change

Although it would make the process easier, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to knowing when the time is right for you or your loved one. However, the Signs of Change infographic has some helpful questions to consider and ask yourself the next time you see your loved one in person. If you notice any of these or other changes in your loved one’s routine, it could be that your parent or loved one requires more significant support.

“These indicators highlight important factors that should be paid attention to; they can mean that a loved one’s lifestyle is shrinking. Maybe they’re no longer interested in activities they once enjoyed or not eating regularly. These are usually silent but strong signals that now may be the right time to consider a positive move to a retirement community,” says Maribeth, Senior Director of Sales at Seasons. 

Conversation starters

Maribeth suggests starting the conversation with something small such as asking them their feelings about living at home on their own:

  • When home alone, do they feel safe or anxious?
  • How are they managing home maintenance?
  • Do they have enough groceries for the week?

It could be that you’re beginning to notice subtle changes in their routine, like wanting to drive less or calling more frequently. These could be conversation starters, too. Signs like these could indicate that bigger ones are on their way, making this a good time and opportunity to sit down and have a genuine discussion.

“It helps to be open and honest. Sometimes aging adults don’t realize the extent of the changes happening around them until they’re highlighted and discussed with someone who cares about their wellbeing. Objections will arise, many people will say they aren’t ready—but what does ‘ready’ really look like? It can be a journey and a process to get to the final decision,” continues Maribeth. 

Increased independence

Several long-standing myths that exist around senior living options continue to influence people’s most common concerns and objections, yet they simply aren’t true. For example, the idea that once in a retirement home, residents lose all of their independence. Many people make the move to a retirement community without needing the full complement of supportive services that are offered.  

Highly independent people decide to move for a variety of reasons, it could be they are tired of keeping up with household chores, or maybe they want access to a social calendar, or simply desire the peace of mind that comes from knowing someone is always there if and when you need them. 

Other people move to a retirement setting because they desire the care and support we can provide. Oftentimes, independence can increase after a move. When someone has support with nutritious meals, access to social programs, regular fitness classes, and a health and wellness team to oversee their wellbeing, they can lead happier and healthier lives.

Caregiver burnout

“Seasons team members know the weight of this decision and want to make the process as comfortable and pleasant as they can for new residents and their families,” finishes Maribeth. “We understand that something has to give eventually, either for the safety of the person receiving the care or for the caregiver’s wellbeing. Many people who are struggling to manage these tasks still work full-time jobs and have families of their own. There should be no shame or feelings of guilt in seeking out and accepting help if you need it, especially if you’re experiencing burnout.”

When everyone is on the same page about what the future holds, it adds to the overall peace of mind and a sense of shared understanding.

Get in touch

For more information on retirement living at Seasons, we would encourage you to speak with the Leasing Manager at your desired location or complete our contact form to arrange a virtual or in-person visit. You can rest assured that all visits will be scheduled following COVID-19 safety measures. For the most up-to-date protocols, see our Company tab.