When one reaches retirement years, often the idea of moving out of one’s current living situation into a different home is in the forefront of their minds. This could involve moving into an assisted living facility, senior community, or moving closer to adult children or grandchildren.
Not every senior needs nor wants to move closer to loved ones, and in some cases family members might already live nearby. However, there are times when it is necessary, or can be very beneficial to all parties for family members to live closer together. Below we have provided a list of reasons why this is true, along with ways in which you can to talk to your senior relative about moving closer to family.
Why Should Seniors Move Closer to Loved Ones?
1. Easier access to help
2. Building closer relationships with adult children and grandchildren
3. Reconnecting with other family members
Talking to Seniors About Moving Closer
Now that we have covered some reasons why moving closer to loved ones can be beneficial to your senior family members, it’s time to look at how to talk to them about making such a move. For some, this talk will go very smoothly and end in a ‘let’s do this!” while for others it may be more of a challenge.
Some seniors have no desire to move and are perfectly comfortable and content where they are. Think of it this way: you’ve lived on your own for ages and have been able to be an adult without your children around interfering with your daily life and telling you what to do. Now you feel threatened with the prospect of your siblings, children, or grandchildren directing your everyday life, or at least trying to. Though this may not be the case, your senior relative could be thinking that this will be their new reality if they move closer to loved ones. Your job is to make sure that they understand the positives about moving closer to you, and talk through any of the negatives that they might believe.
To start, ask your loved one what they’ve considered for their living situation for their later years. Take time to listen and ask questions that are relevant to their thoughts and concerns. Also, it is very helpful to state that your intention is to help them take the steps toward a healthy, happy and safe living environment.
A few ways to move the discussion along and to keep it going in the right direction are:
1. Focus on the easier access to see grandchildren
If you have children, especially young ones, remind your senior that they’ll have lots of opportunity to socialize, play and hang out on a regular basis with your children. Kids help keep the elderly young, and infuse their life with new things every day.
2. Discuss with them options to bring prized processions
Most moves involve packing everything into a U-Haul and driving it to a new house. This type of move is no exception. Even if they are moving into your home, they need to bring things that they love. This very well could include pets. Some of this might not be your first choice either, but remember that you are the one suggesting that they move closer to you, not the other way around.
3. Talk about the positive aspects of the new home
Again, you’ll want to focus on the good aspects of moving closer to you and how positive the experience will be. If there are any negatives involved , they should be discussed, but not as the main talking points. The last thing you want to do is create dark clouds over the move. The option to move, and the conversation, should be kept as positive as possible.
4. Don’t demand they move immediately
As with any move, this will be a process and not an overnight event. There are multiple things to take into account. Selling a home, sorting and moving processions, and planning the travel involved with the move itself all take time. To demand that a loved one move right away will most likely lead to a negative discussion, which will in turn derail your plan. It may take weeks to a few months to get a move going and generally speaking, that’s a good time frame for most people, your loved ones and you included.
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