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Tough Conversations: How to Discuss Senior Living With Your Loved One


Making the move to a senior living community can be a significant transition in the life of your senior loved one. This time can be a challenge as you and your family accept the realities of aging and work together to make decisions about the future. While it may be uncomfortable at times, you don't want to push off conversations on this matter. Prepare in advance and discuss senior living options often with your loved one. Regular, quality conversations about senior living options will reduce stress and lead to the best possible outcome for your senior loved one's well-being. At Ebenezer Senior Living, we understand the profound importance of these conversations and have a few tips to help get you started.

Be Respectful

First and foremost, enter this conversation from a place of respect. Also, empathize with the loss of autonomy your senior loved one may feel as they age, and make sure they understand this is a conversation and not a unilateral decision. It is important to allow your loved one to voice their opinion without judgment or heightened emotions. Seniors have often spent a lifetime taking care of others and may feel their value is discounted when it is time for them to be on the receiving end of care.

Be Open & Honest

You will want to be clear with your loved one about the concerns you have. If you have noticed they are having cognitive issues or displaying concerning behaviors, you will want to provide concrete examples to support your assertion. Be sure to share your concerns as observations, not accusations. Your loved one will likely be more accepting and open to the discussion if you share your genuine worries and spell out the dangers you are concerned they will face if they continue to live at home.

Be Positive

While you don't want to patronize your loved one by exaggerating, you can reassure your loved one by sharing the many positive aspects of senior living communities they may not be aware of. Most senior living facilities offer many appealing amenities like educational activities and social events that might spark your loved one's interest. Share multiple possible senior living options to open the dialogue and help you both understand what type of facility will be most comfortable and stimulating for your loved one.

Spread the Conversation Out

It is best to avoid putting so much pressure on one conversation; start having open discussions about senior living early and often. The more you discuss the idea and the available options together, the better you will be prepared to make the best decisions when the time comes for your loved one to make this transition.

Ebenezer Senior Living is here to support you with this and many other topics regarding senior living. Please contact us with any questions you may have. We'd be honored to help you and your family.

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Ebenezer is Minnesota’s largest senior living operator with over 100 years of experience serving older adults. As part of Fairview Health Services, Ebenezer is dedicated to healing, discovering and educating for longer, healthier and meaningful lives. ​

Discrimination is Against the Law. We comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws. We do not discriminate against, exclude or treat people differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation.

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