Talking to Your Family about Making the Move to Senior Living

Talking about your retirement plans with your family might not be easy for you. You’ve decided where you want to live, but now you need to let your family know. You know why you’ve made the decision, but you need some help conveying it to your family.

Fortunately, you are not alone.

First Things First: When Should You Have the Conversation?

While you shouldn’t have the conversation before you’re ready, it’s wise to start talking to your family and loved ones sooner rather than later.

The earlier you raise the topic and let your family in on your thought process, the more time they have to ask questions, understand your point of view, and share their concerns. Even if you’re looking forward to moving to a life plan community, it may take your family a while to get used to the idea.

As you prepare to introduce the topic, keep in mind that your family may ask what a life plan community is and why you want to live in one. Be prepared to answer their questions and help them understand the perks and benefits of retiring in such a community.

Which Topics Should You Discuss with Your Family?

Ultimately, this is your life and your decision, so you can share as much or as little as you’re comfortable with. As a rule, though, we recommend covering the following points:

  • What a life plan community is and what makes it different from a traditional retirement community.
  • Why you’ve chosen to move into such a community.
  • What level of involvement and participation you want your family to have.
  • What you plan to do with your home.

Additionally, we recommend leaving plenty of space and time for the conversation to evolve. Your family may come up with additional questions after the initial discussion or may want to learn more about the exciting new community you’ll be a part of.

4 Tips for a Successful Conversation

You love your family, and they love you. You want to make sure this is a productive, positive conversation and that your family can be as excited as you are about your big move.

Here are five tips to create space for a positive conversation:

1. Pick the right time
Timing is everything. Have the conversation with your family when everyone is relaxed and in the same place.

For example, invite your family over for dinner and introduce the topic then, or consider calling a formal family meeting to discuss your plans.

Regardless of when you choose to have the conversation, you want to make sure that everyone is relaxed, focused, and not rushing off to other commitments.

2. Be patient
You’ve already made the decision, but it may take your family some time to adjust to the idea.

Even if you feel filled with excitement about the prospect of your move, you’ll need to be patient and provide your family with time to ask questions, understand your reasoning, and learn how they fit in with your new plan.

Keep in mind that your move may evoke strong emotions for your family members. Adult children may struggle to leave behind the memories in their family home, for example. Being aware of and sensitive to these feelings will help facilitate a positive conversation and a transition that your entire family is supportive of.

3. Include someone you trust
If you’d like the voice of a third party in the conversation, consider inviting your doctor, a friend who already lives in a life plan community, or a care manager to the discussion.

This objective third party will be able to educate your kids and family, answer questions they may have, and provide additional clarity for your loved ones.

4. Hold your boundaries
In some cases, family members may be initially resistant to the idea of a move to a life plan community. In this case, be sure to hold a firm but loving boundary. You’ve already made this decision, and you know it’s the right one for you.

While you should be patient and open to answering your family members’ questions, it’s essential to maintain that this is what you’ve chosen for yourself.

The Next Season of Your Life is Waiting for You

Your family loves you and wants what’s best for you. While having the conversation about your plan to move to a life plan community can feel scary, it’s better for everyone to get it out there and focus on moving to the next step.

Before you know it, your family will be happily participating in the events and programs at your new community and spending time together in your brand-new space.

Ready to learn more about Searstone or how we can support your next steps into a care-free retirement experience? Contact us today.